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Vermonters Stand Up to Wind Developers

July 18, 2012

Several days after the protest at Lowell Mountain VT a truck carrying turbine components rolled over in Irasburg on its way from the staging area in Island Pond to Lowell Mountain. This is one of the 120 trips that will be traveling I-91 in the Northeast Kingdom through September. More on the protest in this video and below in this post. This report is by Melissa Sheketoff for WCAX TV3.

Burlington, Vermont’s WCAX TV3 caught the drama as protesters temporarily halted delivery of the first turbine parts for the Lowell Mountain project.

Two people were arrested and detained until the 100 or so citizens prevailed on authorities to release them in exchange for dialing down their spontaneous act of civil disobedience in blocking the roadway.

“Everyday, from now until September, 120 truck loads will make their way from Island Pond to Lowell, but if these protests continue, police will find themselves in a tough spot.” said reporter Jennifer Reading.

Police lead one protestor away after arresting him and one other after about 80 people stopped a truck loaded with wind turbine components on Vermont 100 near the Lowell wind project site Monday morning. Two were arrested before police negotiated their release in return for the rest to allow to trucks to pass. / JENNIFER HERSEY CLEVELAND/Orleans County Record

The photo by Jennifer Hersey Cleveland appearing in the Burlington Free Press article captured the issue of concern to many around the world–where are the agencies and organizations whose role is to protect the environment when the wind developments are approved? Absent is the outrage of the Sierra Club, Vermont’s Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), and the state’s Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). The Public Service Board (PSB) approves turbine sites.
For extensive and ongoing coverage of Lowell Mountain protests, the Mountain Talk website is a must-read blog. Their July 16 post about the first miles of the first component delivery captures the absurd scale of the turbines.

Laura Carpenter, reporting for the Newport Daily Express described the act of civil disobedience:

Before the truck arrived, Ira Powsner, who has been actively protesting the project, spoke through a megaphone to keep people up to date on the truck’s location, apparently receiving information from protesters following the truck. He encouraged everyone to get ready to chant loudly when the truck arrived.

But then he unexpectedly stepped into the road in front of the truck. He was followed by others.

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