I am no fan of litigation defeating legislation and oppose both the state of Vermont’s lawsuit against the Vermont Yankee license and the quixotic opposition to the ridgeline windmills.
That said, the windmills are a foolish expense: I hope Don Quixote succeeds.
Windmills, like most renewable energy sources, are uneconomic. How do we know this? The government has to support them through tax incentives and by forcing utilities to buy their power at higher than market rates. But for these incentives there would be no windmills. In Vermont utilities have to buy windmill power at 27 cents per kilowatt hour versus a market rate of 5 cents, more than five times the going rate. Is this why we have the third highest electric rates in the nation and why those rates are increasing while in other New England states they are falling?
The tax revenues that the towns are lusting after does not come from productive investment and increased employment, it is rather, just a transfer payment, not corporate welfare, but inter-government welfare. Subsidies and mandated price support are given to windmill operators who then pay local real estate taxes. Thus all consumers pay more for electricity so that some localities benefit. And these higher electric rates are borne disproportionately by lower-income residents, a very regressive tax in a very progressive state.
This is not the redistribution of wealth, it is redistribution of pain. The residents of Searsburg and Readsboro may see their property taxes go down (probably not) but they, along with everyone else in the valley, will see their electric bill go up.
I am sympathetic to the economic plight of the towns, and the entire valley. But the only solution is economic growth; with growth much is possible, without it nothing is possible. Economic growth cannot be achieved by making uneconomic investments.
It takes a business not a windmill.