Predictable, fast and inclusive?
Gov. Shumlin stated recently that his goal for the Energy Generation Siting Commission he formed was to ensure that the process for permitting energy generation projects would be predictable, fast and inclusive.
That phrase is telling of Shumlin’s real motivations. The current process is predictable. It is designed to grant large out-of-state corporations a green light for their projects. And it is fast — fast enough for those corporations to build when the tax subsidies are at their peak. Critical thought has already been suspended regarding industrial wind in the rush to build them — we do not need to make this any faster.
He threw “inclusive” in there to try to appease those of us who argue that the real stakeholders are disenfranchised from this process. The process is not inclusive, and it is not inclusive because it is predictable and fast. The corporations willing to do grave harm with their energy projects are given lots of time and guidance from the state on how to make their project fly. Because state agencies grant them “pre-approval” on some aspects of their plan, it is also predictable. In contrast, “host” towns are given 45 days before a permit is filed and then have to petition for “intervenor” status to give input, which will be promptly ignored. Adjacent landowners and residents are not required to be notified at all and are given no formal input in the process.
Lisa Wright Garcia
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