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Springfield, VT: Biomass project denied: Victory for citizens and national movement
On February 11, 2014, Robert Kischko and the North Springfield Action Group (NoSag) found out firsthand that grassroots organizing with perseverance works. After two years working to defend the health and future of their community, NoSAG finally was able to celebrate when the Vermont Public Service Board denied a proposal by Winstanley Enterprises to build a dirty biomass electrical generating facility.
NoSAG has been active for the past two years gathering the support of their community and demonstrating to the Public Service Board that the environmental and public health costs of this project would not promote the general good for the State of Vermont. Robert Kischko, NoSAG chair, has devoted countless hours over the years to strategic planning and research. Kischko says of the victory, “The local residents and members of NoSAG have fought this facility on many fronts and stressed the need to preserve our air quality and our forests.”
As the group showed throughout the campaign with public hearings, call-in days, and education drives, clean energy doesn’t come out of a smokestack. This facility would have produced more greenhouse gasses than burning coal.
This win is not merely a victory for Springfield and Vermont, but is part of a larger fight against unhealthy energy choices. The Public Service Board decision reinforced that large-scale biomass contributes to global warming.
Kischko states, “This decision by the Public Service Board was a regional demonstration that the project would not meet a need...which could not otherwise be provided in a more cost-effective manner through energy conservation programs and energy-efficiency measures, as the Public Service Board themselves stated in their decision.”
Jan Ameen, a NoSAG member, also celebrated the decision. "I am thrilled that the Public Service Board acknowledged that the high level of greenhouse gas emissions from this industrial biomass project is not in the general good of Vermonters.”
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