Though I’d suspected the news would eventually arrive, I still wasn’t ready when I got it. Word came recently that a wind speed test tower, the harbinger of a future wind turbine development, would soon be erected just north of my property in Lexington Township.
Two more associated towers are to be located in Concord, the next township to the east. My town is now among the unfortunate that have been infected with the virus of wind-energy sprawl. Industry activity, lately, has been substantial in our area and our town lies within the new expedited permitting zone. It was bound to happen.
I’ve been working to stop wind-sprawl on Maine’s rural landscape for almost a year.
However, until now, I’ve not known the full complement of the frustration, indignation and betrayal felt by so many Mainers seeing their lives turned upside down by the reckless and uncaring intrusion of this industry on their homes and property – all with the complicity of our state government. I have worked beside many of these people for months, but only now do I fully understand their perspective.
My wife and I believed we’d spend the rest of our days in Lexington, living simply, and feeling fortunate to be surrounded by Maine’s unique beauty and the increasingly rare silence of a rural land. The governor and Legislature, however, sealed our fate in 2008 when they gifted the wind industry with easy permitting terms for a scheme that is unlikely to produce benefits greater than what will be stolen from present and future generations.
Under the new laws, property owners have been left with little power to protect themselves. I will, nevertheless, continue to fight this industry’s assault on rural Maine, perhaps, with a keener awareness of what we stand to lose.