Castleton poll shows strong support for wind power development

first_imgby Andrew Stein February 27, 2013 vtdigger.org The results of a February poll conducted by the Castleton Polling Institute show strong support for developing wind projects on Vermont ridgelines and subsidizing ‘ alternative energy.’The poll drew from 617 Vermonters across a range of ages and incomes. Of those individuals, 66 percent said they support ‘ building wind energy turbines along the state’ s ridgelines,’ while 19 percent oppose the practice and 14 percent are unsure.The poll found that 69 percent of participating Vermonters are in favor of ‘ the development of a wind farm’ in their community, compared with 19 percent who oppose the proposition and 12 percent who are unsure. Of those residents, 66 percent also said that Vermont’ s government ‘ should subsidize alternative energy,’ opposed to the 20 percent who are against the notion and 14 percent who are unsure.Wind development advocates ‘ like Paul Burns, director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group ‘ praised the results.‘ Wind power in Vermont is clean, safe and abundant,’ Burns said in a public statement. ‘ It’ s no wonder that support for wind remains so strong, despite the extreme rhetoric from groups like Energize Vermont and Vermonters for a Clean Environment.’Lukas Snelling is the director of Energize Vermont, which opposes the ridgeline development of wind turbines in Vermont. The group organized a rally this autumn, where nearly 200 protesters came out against developing wind turbines on Vermont’ s ridgelines.Snelling interprets the results of the poll differently than Burns does, pointing to the dip in support for ridgeline development from a 2012 Castleton Poll, which was conducted with help from various media outlets across the state. The 2012 poll found that 69 percent of participants supported such development, compared to the 66 percent this year.‘ The latest numbers released today from the Castleton Polling Institute show support for ridgeline wind in Vermont continues to erode,’ Snelling said in a public statement. ‘ Activists and citizens questioning the development of Vermont’ s ridgelines for wind power attribute the continued erosion of support to a variety of factors, but one of the most likely is that more of Vermont towns are facing proposals from aggressive wind developers.’PHOTO: Searsburg wind turbineslast_img