Responding to Joe Benning on wind moratorium

Published as a comment on Senator Joe Benning’s Times Argus op-ed: http://www.timesargus.com/article/20130307/OPINION04/703079991/1024

Joe Benning is missing out on a great career as a fiction writer. Tempting though it is to address each of his creations here in turn, I’ll confine myself to one.

Benning writes: “The purpose of the misunderstood “moratorium” was simply to gain enough time to create needed legislation. We needed to set up parameters for renewable development, strengthen the ability of towns and regions to participate in the process, study the true economic and environmental impact of various renewable tools (including industrial wind), and coordinate renewable tools with our desired energy portfolio and available infrastructure.”

He fails to note that the moratorium in question was to last 3 years, during which there would be no “industrial” wind development in Vermont.  As I pointed out repeatedly to him and to others, there was no need for a 3-year moratorium to produce whatever legislation is needed (if any), since Vermont has been studying this issue for over 3 decades.

And now even Mr. Benning admits that what he wanted 3 years to do has magically been accomplished WITHOUT a moratorium in less than 3 months: “Interestingly, the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee has now had enough time to make S.30 into a vehicle to do just that. A moratorium is no longer necessary as long as the bill becomes law.”  That would be truly remarkable, had it not be predicted so often.

One last point.  No one was frightened by the WORD moratorium.  What bothered many of us was the notion that we would allow ourselves to mask the opposition some feel to wind projects behind a  useless delay in implementing policies put in place over the last 40 years.  Fortunately, we no longer have to contend with either the word nor the reality behind it.  The moratorium is now dead.

I for one do not mourn its loss.