Fifty-five years ago, the State of Vermont became the first in the nation to ban roadside billboards. I didn’t know that, but now that I do, celebrating the “accomplishment” – and they are – given the current direction of state energy policy is ridiculous.
In the late 60s and early 70s, state lawmakers examined a number of environmental bills including Act 250, the bottle bill, and a billboard ban. Former state Representative Ted Riehle, R-South Burlington, spearheaded the initiative to ban off-premise advertising. The landmark law is widely credited with helping Vermont maintain its rural natural scenery.
Environmental groups today say the tourism industry saw the bill as an economic opportunity. “I can’t tell you how many people visit me and say, ‘Wow, something’s really different here, I can’t put my finger on it’ — for days. Or, they will say, ‘Wow, there are no billboards. All of a sudden, I’m not attacked by advertising by every turn in the road,‘“ said Brian Shupe with the Vermont Natural Resources Council.
Rural natural scenery. Environmental groups say. Something’s really different here.
If you missed it, the Democrat-run state of Vermont has been on a fast train to a Commie California-style green energy utopia. Electric everything, and you can’t use nuclear. Hydro is bad (for reasons still unclear). Still, they need to produce enough electricity from the sun and the breeze to power everything, so the state will need to erect a significant number of scenery-disrupting solar and wind farms.
It’s the law, and rather than repeal that or rewrite it, they are committed to ending fossil fuel-powered cars and replacing gas, coal, and oil with electricity. To do that, the landscape will need to be thoroughly transformed. Picture the forests of wind turbines – giant metal and polymer structures breaking the horizon at every turn, secured with tons of concrete planted in giant holes dug into the “rural natural scenery.” And just below that, a chunk of once scenic mountainside, farm, or field will need to be cleared for solar panel farms that will make the earth beneath them useless for much else.
And don’t forget the new infrastructure to store or carry all this scrumptious planet-saving “green” energy. You will need banks of batteries, transfer technology, quite a few additional transformers (at nearly every turn of the road), and more or newer overhead transmission lines crisscrossing the state.
But hey. Congrats on the billboard ban thing. Great work.
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Author: Steve MacDonald
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