October 7, 2005

Big wind steals Peter Freyne's brain!

Peter Freyne flakking for Enxco and GE? He certainly follows their line that Free Press editorials opposed only to industrial-size turbines on Vermont's ridgelines are obstructing all progress on energy issues ["Freep Wins Award!," Inside Track, October 5].

Even as evidence shows that giant wind turbines will contribute very little to our energy future, and as big wind's supporters nonetheless insist they are essential to any solution, Freyne says it is the Free Press that has made them a "fetish."

If anyone has been "dogmatic in its approach to Vermont's energy future," as Lawrence Mott is quoted, it is he and others determined to plant their 400-foot-high erections across otherwise undeveloped land -- despite their many negative impacts, negligible benefit, and diverse local opposition.

Freyne also quoted Mott referring to "changing times" and "the latest information." Where is Freyne's usual journalistic instinct? What has changed about multinational corporations swindling landowners and paying off politicians to take over land and resources? What is the latest information other than more PR from the industry about sales projections?

Freyne is almost always more insightful and witty, but here he resorts to lame terms like "boneheaded," "shortsighted," and "blanket idiocy," as if blind to the possibility of a reasonable alternative. It is not just the Free Press but a wide range of individuals throughout Vermont -- and the world -- who question the wisdom of large-scale wind power. Anyone who looks beyond the sales material quickly discovers that industrial wind power is little more than a shameful boondoggle. (It is not surprising to learn that the modern large-scale wind industry was pioneered by Enron.)

Many members of Renewable Energy Vermont are working for real change in energy use -- small-scale and more sustainable alternatives to the centralized utility structure that giant wind turbines from GE (which acquired Enron's wind division) only reinforce. But Enxco, a part of the French nuclear power consortium EDF, and other pushers of large-scale wind power also are members and have clearly skewed REV's vision.

Like George Bush blaming Osama bin Laden for the violence in Iraq, REV's "Energy Ostrich Award" to the Free Press for opposing big wind only underscores their own "head-in-the-sand" viewpoint.

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