Green Mountain Destruction

As many of you know Vermont has long been billed as The Green State. We sell locally grown food, have luscious green mountains for admiring and skiing,  and take pride in our reputation. Vermont has also ranked at the top of America’s most eco-friendly place, according to Country Home magazine and the U.S. Census Bureau. Unfortunately, these mountains aren’t so green anymore. Bulldozers arrived in Vermont a couple of weeks ago at the base of the Lowell Mountains to rip their way through the forest. Green Mountain Power (GMP),  ironic as its name is, plans on erecting 21 wind turbines at the ridgeline of the mountains to produce “green” energy. On GMP’s wesite, the company defines itself as an electric utility owned by an energy corporation with an investment in Vermont. They distribute, transmit, and sell electricity and utility services in the state. They go on to claim an increased focus on a renewable, brighter and cleaner future. GMP supports and promotes the “state efficiency utility,” and delivers acquired power through maintained substations. But what exactly does this mean? It sounds like a combination of nonsense and fancy words used to detract from the what the company is actually doing. Their website is filled with green fonts, and crisp white backgrounds. But is GMP what Vermonters should really be investing their trust in? The website reminds me of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and their sugar-coated lies about their attempts to clear cut forests for paper. The SFI, created the American Forest and Paper Association, was created with the purpose of misleading the public about the actual production of making paper products. Well, at least Green Mountain Power will actually use their horrific methods to provide green energy, but seriously is that the only way to do it. The proposed project in Lowell would result in thousands of trees being clear-cut at the base of the mountain. I hope that Vermonters believe that the destruction and deforestation that the project calls for will negate future goals of producing green energy. To even call their intention green is an insult in the name of green energy. How dare GMP claim they are doing the environmental good when they are actually contributing to mass deforestation. Yes, I strongly believe in alternative methods to obtain energy. I also understand that sometimes there is no practical green way to supply these necessities. But in this case is this project the best option? Have we come to a point where companies are so desperate for success that they will be hypocrites to their own goals? Sure, GMP is a business, and they have to find some way to stay afloat— but what about morals and ethics? Has money become the only thing energy companies are concerned with? I would like to know what the president of GMP believes in. Does she truly, honestly believe she is doing Vermont a good deed? Does she feel she’s doing us a favor, because if that is the case the company should at least have the integrity and dignity to change their name to something more accurate.  Stephen Wright, the former commissioner of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, suggested a new nickname for the state — “the not-so-green mountains,” in a New York Times op-ed last month. Based on the proposed project in Lowell, I’d say that’s sounds about right.