Robert Bryce's most recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal marks the fifth time since 2013 that the Journal has made space for Bryce—a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute—to present his Koch-funded message. This time, Bryce attacks wind power and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by cherry-picking and highlighting a handful of anti-wind activities going on in Vermont.
If you look at actual public polling—and Media Matters does—you'll find there is widespread support among Vermonters for wind turbines. Over 70 percent of state residents support wind energy development, and 89.3 percent support a transition to renewables. So while there will always be those who vocalize "Not-In-My-Back-Yard" type opposition to development projects, the citizens of Vermont heavily favor clean energy overall.
Even just looking at the statistics on the NIMBY opposition to wind farms on which Bryce relies, the fact remains that 69 percent of Vermonters support a wind farm in their own community.
On top of this, we can't rule out the possibility that Koch money spurred the opposition in the first place. Whether it was something simple like "renting" protesters, or a more complex national strategy that involved circulating letters or scaring citizens about wind's health effects, part of the fossil fuel lobby's overarching strategy has long included the creation of local-looking groups to oppose clean energy.
As we see in the case of Vermont, the fossil fuel lobby can then cite those astroturf campaigns as local support for their position, in an argument as circular as the spinning of the turbine blades that threaten their bottom line.
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