That didn’t take long.
After an investigation that lasted a couple of weeks or so (and probably involved nothing more than reviewing documents and law books), the Attorney General’s office has declined to pursue any charges against anti-renewables scold Annette Smith for practicing law without a license.
Being an obstacle to progress and a spreader of misinformation, well, those aren’t illegal. So Public Enemy Number One of Vermont’s renewable energy goals will carry on, tilting at windmills and fomenting baseless fears amongst the populace.
Too bad the investigation was so brief. Too bad for her sake, that is; she was relishing her self-proclaimed role of Free Speech Martyr. Her organization, Vermonters for
Exporting Our Ecological Damage a Clean Environment, was raising money on her alleged persecution.
Those days are over.
Not really; I’m sure she will proudly brandish this incident as “proof” of the Blittersdorf/Iberdrola/Gaz Metro/Peter Shumlin/Illuminati plot to bring her down.
Because that’s what she does: like an expert quilter, she takes a bagful of miscellaneous scraps, and expertly combines them into a heretofore unseen pattern of connivance on the part of the great and powerful. Indeed, she’s already claiming a black-helicopter-style plot by unnamed and unseen forces:
She said unspecified people have told her that her emails and phone are likely to be tapped.
People like Annette Smith love to see themselves as heroes fighting against overwhelming odds. In order to do so, they fabricate invisible and ultra-powerful enemies to inflate their own sense of importance.
Obviously, I am no fan of Ms. Smith. She is a conspiratorialist of the highest order. She ignores the vast body of scientific evidence that wind and solar power have little to no lasting impact on the environment, instead citing a small cadre of cranks and junk scientists — some in the pay of fossil fuel interests — to “prove” her case. She operates in the same way as climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers, creationists and Flat Earthers.
However, the investigation was a dumb idea from start to finish. VTDigger reports that the complaint was filed by Ritchie Berger, an attorney with the law firm of Dinse, Knapp and McAndrews, whose clients include wind developer David Blittersdorf.
If Berger’s complaint was meant to help Blittersdorf and discredit Smith, it was strategically an awful move: its foundation was wafer-thin, the penalties uncertain, and it stood a very good chance of backfiring, which indeed it did. The complaint raised a howl of protest from those who see Smith as a champion of the Little People, and made her a sympathetic figure.
But the investigation itself was brief and non-invasive. When it was launched, Smith proclaimed it as an attempt to “shut down my organization.” In fact, it never posed a real threat to her or VCE. (I wonder if she was even interviewed by the AG’s office.) If anything, it gives her more credibility with her audience. Now she can tout her bona fides as a dangerous enemy of the establishment. She can claim that she came face-to-face with The Man, and The Main blinked.
Absurd. But it’s just the way she thinks.