GRAFTON >> On Wednesday, June 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the Grafton Elementary School, Mitch Frankenberg, a member of the West Rutland Select Board and author of the new book, "Twists, Turns, and Yellow Brick Roads: A Declaration of Independence, Empathy and Self-Control" will speak about why Vermont and land throughout the world is targeted for large-scale build-outs of wind, solar and gas and why as citizens we need to pay attention.
"Iberdrola is one of the world's richest holding companies, and it is a corporation that trades on the Madrid Stock Exchange," Frankenberg explains. "By creating subsidiaries in America such as New England Wind LLC and New York State Electric and Gas Co, Iberdrola, has received more than $2.2 billion in free welfare money that was paid for by you, me and millions of American taxpayers."
He compares the $2.2 billion given to Iberdrola to $840 million – the amount that FEMA paid out in flood claims from 2013-2014, He says the amount of money that the American government had spent to rebuild infrastructure for its own citizenry is less than 40 percent of the $2.2 billion in corporate welfare that was given to merely one Spanish-owned corporation.
Many politicians argue that giving $2.2 billion to corporations such as Iberdrola will create more jobs, render clean energy and will result in fewer disasters such as flooding.
But Frankenberg warns that the motivation is something altogether different. He points to a Wall Street Journal article from May 2014, CEO Warren Buffet told his shareholders: "I will do anything that is basically covered by the law to reduce Berkshire's tax rate. For example, on wind energy, we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit."
But where corporations have no accountability to taxpayers, American government has mechanisms to protect and serve its people and the land. Frankenberg urges all citizens to first stop the blame and instead take meaningful action. Go back to your communities. Get involved in local and state government.
Wednesday's event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. www.graftonwindhamwind.org