Vermont conservation groups welcome energy generation siting commission
Six statewide conservation and natural resources organizations expressed their support for Governor Peter Shumlin’s decision to create an energy generating siting commission to address concerns they had highlighted in a recent letter to the governor, the groups announced today.
Audubon Vermont; the Green Mountain Club; the Nature Conservancy, Vermont Chapter; Vermont Land Trust; Vermont League of Conservation Voters; and Vermont Natural Resources Council wrote the governor on September 18, 2012, asking the governor to establish an unbiased commission to research and address wind energy development siting and cumulative impact issues.
The groups are encouraged by the goal that the governor’s commission will complete its work by April 30, 2013.
Governor Shumlin, with Public Service Commissioner Liz Miller, announced the formation of the commission, called the Governor’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission. It's intended to modernize the permitting process for renewable energy projects. It comes on the heels of protests over wind farms in Lowell and a "no go" vote in Newark last month, as well as recent, on-going opposition to other wind and solar projects around the state.
Created by executive order Tuesday, the five-person commission, to be named later, is meant to both update the slow and contentious permitting process for commercial electric projects, as well as to find a better way to engage the public in that process.
The groups stated that they are also pleased that the commission is charged with considering the cumulative impacts of energy projects; reviewing the existing policies and standards for evaluating and permitting wind power facilities; assessing the environmental impacts of already-approved wind facilities; and, providing ample opportunity for public involvement.
MONTPELIER, Vt., October 4, 2012