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Opinion: PSB has licensed the desecreation of the Green Mountains

Vermont is racing toward a crisis of unprecedented magnitude and irreversible consequence. At stake is not a few lives, but our very way of life. Crisis is the touchstone of sincerity and opportunity, requiring immediate action to achieve renewal.
Our national and state governments were instituted, deriving their just power from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of the government or agencies thereof (the Public Service Board) becomes destructive of our founding, declared inalienable principles, it is the duty of the people to appeal, alter or abolish it and institute new agencies and new legislation redefining their purpose in such form as would ensure our safety and well being.
The Vermont Public Service Board has a defined function of serving the public good of all Vermonters. Unelected, unaccountable, unresponsive to the public voice, they have unlimited power to facilitate the destruction of what defines Vermont. The Green Mountains are the very defining soul of Vermont. They shaped us, physically, culturally, morally and historically. The Green Mountains with the Connecticut and Champlain valleys and Lake Champlain physically and historically shape our state.
The PSB has licensed the absolute irreversible desecration of much of the ridgeline of the Green Mountain range, the very backbone and soul of Vermont. Forests, meadows, pastures, orchards, rivers and streams dotted with human-scale historic villages and a scattering of ancient silos and barns all beckoning to the Green Mountains define us as a unique people, a culture, a society, a history, a noble experiment. This is the green Vermont.
Vermont was green but is now experiencing a monstrous, devastating, irreversible, absolutely unmonitored graying in the name of going green. But oh, I must not forget, Vermont has been a pioneer, trailblazing strict environmental standards. We have banned fracking as a dangerous environmentally damaging process, while of course allowing fracked gas to be piped in from another country and transported through Vermont to another state. We have appropriately banned large, unsightly aesthetically undesirable billboards to dot the roadside every three or four miles, such as allowed by our neighbor, New York. It is, however, OK to dot the landscape with three to four hundred billboard-size industrial-scale solar panel sites every two to three miles.
There would be no Vermont without the Green Mountain Boys. There would be no Green Mountain Boys without the Green Mountains. Hence, if you destroy the Green Mountains there will be no Vermont. The destruction of the Green Mountains in the name of going “green” is a monstrous imbecility. The further, now massive, irreversible destruction of our verdant fields, meadows, pastures and our precious uniquely Vermont vistas, our moral landscape that has shaped the minds and souls and very history of this precious Vermont republic, with thousands of acres of solar panels, primarily by out-of-state or foreign enterprises, the very surrender of our life-sustaining and defining moral landscape betrays our most fundamental and commonsense core values and function as a sovereign Vermont. This sacred land was settled to be cultivated and treasured for all generations, not consumed.
The defined ultimate purpose of renewable energy processes is to preserve and restore our defining and critically life-sustaining environment. We have now moved from renewable energy with the implied purpose of reducing the metaphorical carbon footprint to “de-newable” energy where the aforementioned process actually creates massive, often irreversible, real physical footprints and further destroys our diminishing physical, culturally, morally and historically defining Vermont environment. From metaphorical footprints to the de-newable process producing horrific, irreversible, destruction and real footprints.
Let us not forget that many of these “wonderful” projects are out-of-state or foreign operations, thereby magnifying the imbecility and unacceptable surrender of Vermont’s physical and economic independence as we once again roll out the “green carpet” for developers. Vermont cannot be reduced to a mere commodity for sale and consumption. Vermont must be sustained, nurtured and enriched, not diminished, for all future generations.
These natural and cultural resources are not ours to dispose of. They were purchased with the sweat and blood of our founding patriots to be preserved for all future generations. We are merely the honored custodians of these treasures.
Are we a sovereign and independent state and nation or are we merely a transitional business enterprise? Now our state has been reduced to a mere commodity available for foreign or out-of-state encroachment of even our most treasured national and cultural resource, the Green Mountains, the very backbone and defining soul of this state. Vermont must have a rebirth. A new beginning. The greatest hope, the only hope, for Vermont’s future lies in the restoration of its past.
We must return Vermont to actually being a green state and any agency or legislation that contradicts this must be redefined and reconfigured to guarantee that they actually and truly serve that goal and the public good. To achieve this there must be an immediate freeze on all industrial-scale solar projects to permit the implementation of regulations and an accountable, responsible, responsive agency. All of Vermont must be declared a “perpetual agri-cultural preserve,” where all existing cultural and historic resources, all agricultural and rural land, that is the landscape and manscape, its gentle beauty on a human scale, shall be preserved for all future generations.
P.S. As a former mechanical engineer, while initiating an energy conservation department for a large engineering firm, I was designing solar panel installations over 30 years ago. The panels were installed on office and industrial structure roofs, and not a square inch of open land or vista was lost.
Rustan Swenson
Shoreham

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