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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Charlestown Through the Looking Glass

On Monday night, Valentine's Day, the Charlestown Town Council meeting will feature the announcement of a new ad hoc committee on alternative energy and the first reading of an ordinance to pretty much stiffle wind energy.

So what an attractive offer - join a committee to study new technologies that the CCA-controlled majority on the Town Council seems determined to strangle at birth.

And we're all supposed to play along and pretend this is how good, transparent government works.

No doubt, the Charlestown Citizens Alliance has polled, measured and analyzed the voice of the people through its mysterious e-mail system. At the properly orchestrated moment, they will produce reams of anonymous citizen input supporting their guiding principle that Charlestown doesn't need anything new built in town, ever.

Alternative energy in all its various forms is critical to our future survival. New England is too critically dependent on fossil fuels. Every spike in oil or gas prices sends shock waves through our economy. If our region doesn't break its dependence on fossil fuels, we face near-permanent recession conditions. Our town residents - the full time folks, not the ones who take off to Florida - depend on oil to stay warm, and as prices head toward $4 a gallon, the 67% of Charlestown residents who heat with oil feel the pain..

Despite the obvious necessity to join the effort to open up energy alternatives, Charlestown's leaders, both elected and self-appointed, seems determined to hold us back.

And ask yourself, why is that?