From Action Speaks alumna Deidre Consolati, one of our panelists from our 2005 show on Dasani bottled water:
I have continued my work in Lee throughout the years and my two co-activists have created a website called Wise Choices for Lee (wisechoicesforlee.org) in order to help our town find its way through the minefield of alternative energy proposals that have been “planted” by an unenlightened energy committee willing to give away our open lands and mountains to energy developers without serious concern for the economic impacts and quality of life losses that would be sustained by the community.
We understand that we’re a microcosm of the larger alternative energy controversy nationwide (as with the corporate privatization of water) and have reached out to other organizations for guidance, such as Preserve Our Berkshires. Our annual town meeting is coming up on Thursday, May 10 and we’re prepared for a likely yes vote to advance these ill considered energy plans with a back-pocket strategy of filing a referendum petition that would enable a town-wide binding vote within 14 days of the meeting. The citizens of the town were never asked about their views while the energy committee met for two years without even taking meeting minutes. They’re bringing to the town meeting their proposals for a wind turbine located on a nearby mountainside near our water supply (!) and a solar array (throwing in soccer fields for the schools as a sop) on a portion of intact open space of 171 acres that could easily be re-converted to its former use as prime farmland.
We need food and water first, in these dire economic times. This is our stance. We also must educate ourselves as to the appropriate use of alternative energy projects suitable to our town. Further, why should we rush? Because tax incentives for the developers run out in a few months should not be our rationale for voting in these unwise choices.
We are not alone in facing these pressures on our community. An industrial future is a vision which other communities are rejecting here in rural New England and around the country and world.
Click here to listen to our Dasani show or download the MP3 version.