Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, July 22, 2010

Which Is Cheaper? Nuclear vs. Solar | Triple Pundit
“Commercial-scale solar developers are already offering utilities electricity at 14 cents or less per kWh. Duke Energy and Progress Energy are limiting or rejecting these offers and pushing ahead with plans for nuclear plants which, if ever completed, would generate electricity at much higher costs — 14–18 cents per kilowatt-hour according to present estimates.”

This is the research conclusion from a study entitled Solar and Nuclear Costs — The Historic Crossover authored by John O. Blackburn, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Economics and former Chancellor, Duke University.
Organic milk market grows | The Burlington Free Press
Retail sales of organic milk have rebounded, allowing Vermont’s 200 organic dairy farms to begin to increase production and — their owners hope — improve their profitability.

Effective Aug. 1, Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based cooperative with 126 Vermont members, has removed a 7 percent production cut imposed on farmers in 2009 and will allow them to increase production at will.

Horizon Foods, part of the Dean Foods conglomerate, has rescinded the voluntary 5 percent cut it asked its 60 Vermont farmers to make last year.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park in Woodstock could grow by 154 acres | The Burlington Free Press
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock could grow by 154 acres if the legislation is passed and it is able to acquire the neighboring King Farm.

The Farm is currently controlled by the Vermont Land Trust, which officials say has struggled to maintain it from the Land Trust offices in Montpelier.
Group seeks EPA role in Vermont water regulation | The Burlington Free Press
The Conservation Law Foundation renewed its request Wednesday that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency take over the job of regulating water pollution in Vermont on grounds the state Agency of Natural Resources is failing to get the job done.

"The state is not protecting clean water in the way that Congress and the EPA require, so the state shouldn't be able to take millions of dollars of taxpayer money for those programs," said Chris Kilian, head of CLF's Vermont office.
Friends realize dream together on Richmond farm | The Burlington Free Press
If you asked Max Bressor last year what he wanted to do after college graduation, he would have said he wanted to be a farmer. Today, Bressor -- along with four friends -- is just that.

Gary and Jean Bressor, Max's parents, own nine acres off Bridge Street in Richmond where Max was raised. After graduation, he brought his friends home to live across the street from the plot in a house rented from his parents. They came to work the land as they had dreamed of doing at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. The dream of what is now Freedom and Unity Farm was formed in dorm rooms.
Easement protects Bolton climbing cliffs | The Burlington Free Press
Two of northern Vermont's most popular rock-climbing cliffs are now permanently open to the public, the Vermont Land Trust announced Tuesday.

The two cliffs, Upper West and Lower West in Bolton, are now protected by a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust. The easement is a legal tool that ensures public access to the 23 acres where the cliffs stand, sustainable management of the forestland and protection for six acres of red pine forest.