I was pleased to read the letter by Karen Pease discussing impending Industrial Wind proposals in our mountains. I have read a lot of this information and have repeatedly asked wind proponents to show me something that would disprove any of it. Not one of them has been able to produce a document of any kind that proves their claim of carbon emission reduction. Existing industrial wind projects in Maine are not releasing information to the public about what they have achieved. At this time there are wind activities going on in Highland, Lexington, Concord, Bingham and Mayfield. Nearby towns of Pleasant Ridge, Embden, North New Portland, North Anson and Solon will be impacted by these projects if they are proposed and approved.
Remember the “clear cut” debates a few years ago? When there were proposals to change forest practices rules, hearings were held all over the State to give everyone a chance to participate.
The Expedited Wind law changed the rules drastically for all of us and there was not a single hearing to discuss it. All the members of the Governors Wind Task force were proponents of industrial wind appointed by Governor Baldacci. Some legislators and some task force members had what I would call clear conflicts because they had interests in the wind industry. Naomi Schalit of Maine Public Interest Reporting described some of this in a series of articles in Maine papers in August and September.
The legislature passed the law based on task force recommendations with no debate. LURC gets to make the decisions for us in the Unorganized Territories and they are appointed also. The residents of Highland will probably get a public hearing after the permit application is in but we don’t get a vote. I guess this is democracy in action.
All this is funded with taxpayers’ dollars on the premise that it will make a difference in climate change. The U.S. Department of energy is pushing this and using the fear of climate change to make it urgent. According to a front page article in the Morning Sentinel a couple of months ago the same DOE is in the process of permitting more than 100 new coal fired electric generating plants across the U.S. If you put wind turbines on every mountain in the entire state it would not make a dent in the emissions that will be produced by these new coal plants.
Is anyone else having a hard time making sense of all this?
Greg Drummond is a resident of Highland Plantation.
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