Robert Bryce: Big Wind Blown Away in Vermont

by ROBERT BRYCE November 15, 2016

Big Wind lost big last Tuesday. While it’s not clear what Donald Trump’s election means for federal energy policy, it’s abundantly obvious that the wind-energy sector’s agenda was crushed in Vermont.

Although it cannot be stated definitively that wind energy was the deciding factor in Scott’s win over Minter, it is abundantly obvious that wind has been one of the most divisive issues in the state. During the Democratic primary for governor, two of the three candidates, Matt Dunne and Peter Galbraith, opposed wind-energy development. In fact, Galbraith made opposition to wind energy the primary focus of his campaign. In the August primary, Galbraith came in third, with about 6,500 votes. Shortly after the primary, he told me that wind-energy development “was the issue [in the Democratic primary] and I think in the general election it will be an issue as well.” It appears that nearly all of Galbraith’s supporters went on to vote for Scott, who ended up beating Minter by more than 27,000 votes.

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MUST READ: Wind Backlash Takes Center Stage in Vermont’s Gubernatorial Race (Robert Bryce)

Minter gleefully told listeners that she had been endorsed by McKibben and that local communities shouldn’t be able to stop wind projects because “climate change is here.” In his response on the same question, Galbraith didn’t equivocate. He said that wind projects built atop Vermont’s ridgelines are “an ecological disaster.”.......................................

Even some of the greenest of Green Mountain State residents don’t want their mountaintops covered with wind turbines. The backlash against Big Wind is taking place from Maine to California. But few states have seen more resistance to the landscape-destroying sprawl of wind energy than Vermont. Indeed, wind energy has emerged as one of the most prominent issues in Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary in the Green Mountain State...........Opposing Minter for the nomination are former state senator Peter Galbraith and Dunne, a former state representative. Galbraith has told acquaintances that the main reason he is running for governor is to stop the wind-energy sector’s destruction of the state’s mountain and ridges. On his campaign website, Galbraith says, “Industrial Wind Turbines do not belong on Vermont’s ridgelines. Our mountains are the most pristine and ecologically sensitive places in Vermont. . . . Industrial wind turbines do not produce green energy.”........................“For years and years, it has been a given that all renewables are intrinsically good no matter where they are placed,” Whitworth said. “Now people are realizing that that just ain’t so. People are realizing that the renewable industry is made up of bullies who are interested only in profits. They aren’t concerned at all about the environment.” 

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Peter Galbraith's website:



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Comment by arthur qwenk on November 17, 2016 at 6:21pm

"You look at these horrible wind mills that are destroying every environment; they're destroying areas, they're destroying neighborhoods; they're killing all the birds; the windmills are the worst of all. And we're backing all of this garbage that doesn't work and it's really destructive.

     - Citizen Donald Trump

        April 5, 2013

Comment by Paula D Kelso on November 16, 2016 at 9:59am

One of the comments to the national review article:

I'm willing to bet that most of the people who rejected wind projects in their neighborhood, will still support massive subsidies to have those same project built in someone else's backyard.


Comment by Robert Goldman on August 11, 2016 at 12:39am
"Climate change is here" so we're going to do nothing about it by putting up wind turbines that don't work and where they harm forest and mountain ecosystems. Thanks Bill McKibben. Perhaps if all those supposed progressives in Vermont learned how to read factual information and did just a little critical thinking they would not be so willing to sacrifice the fantastic natural beauty of the Green Mountains for another corporate scam. This country is sliding down a slippery slope greased with violence against nature, greed and corruption.
Comment by Jim Wiegand on August 10, 2016 at 5:25pm

It is even more moronic to accept the rigged research from these charlatans and then call these projects green.

Comment by Eskutassis on August 10, 2016 at 5:08pm

I guess the people in Vermont are just smarter than we are here in Maine, or we in Maine just don't care about the environment. To try and save the environment from "global climate change" we here in Maine think it is OK to DESTROY the environment with industrial wind.  As someone said in the article, "that is just moronic."

Comment by Jim Palmer on August 10, 2016 at 12:23pm

This "backlash" is what put pro-wind Sue Minter well over the top in the primary.

Minter 51%

Dunne 38%

Galbraith 9%

Comment by Jim Wiegand on August 10, 2016 at 10:58am

Remember all the "Change" coming from Democrat Obama. He ran on a platform of fixing wall street, the credit card interest robbery, jobs, energy independence, ending Iraq, and fixing corruption in Washington.                                                                                                                     He was obviously speaking for all the people being screwed by America's corporate rule. Politicians know these things because they take polls.  They then feed the "audacity of hope" back to the people because they truly understand your pain.  We all know the rest of the story..... The best of the liars is in office.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT


(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

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