• Activism is often self-interest
    June 19,2013

    Grass-roots activists loom larger here, where news about Vermont and Vermonters is local, than in more populous states (“F-35 debate highlights Vermont’s activist nature,” Times Argus, June 10). Some loom so large that their local roots are invisible.

    Vermonters should always ask ourselves whether locally rooted activists expertly looming large really have our common good or their personal interests in mind.

    For example, none looms larger and has roots that are more local than Vermonters for a Clean Environment, founded in 1999 to scuttle a proposed natural-gas pipeline northward from Bennington to Rutland even before permitting due process began.

    Then as now, this nonprofit’s board of directors and executive director hail from Danby, East Dorset, Middletown Springs, Tinmouth and Wallingford, whence they now are silent about the Addison natural gas project’s pipeline southward toward Rutland via Vergennes and Middlebury.

    Focused on local participation, which naturally is parochial, planning and permitting in Vermont favor opponents, because proponents, if any, of our regional and statewide common good are fewer and quieter, making Vermont effectively anti-business.

    Howard Fairman


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