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Editorial undercounts the costs, oversells the benefits of wind  

Credit:  By Alan Michka, The Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com 12 January 2011 ~~

The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram doesn’t have to remind us again of its position on wind. (“Wind power’s benefits offset its downside,” Dec. 26)

It’s well understood that it is the state’s greatest unquestioning champion for mountaintop wind development. Like that other Big Wind supporter, the Bangor Daily News, The Press Herald’s half-hearted show of concern over noise issues hardly seems genuine. When has the newspaper ever seriously pressed for regulatory action on noise issues?

The Press Herald either purposely or naively underestimates the dissension in Maine on the topic of mountaintop wind development. After a 14-month engagement in this issue, I can say with first-hand certainty, that those vocally opposed to this policy are the tip of the iceberg.

The vast majority of detractors are mostly silent on the issue for several reasons, not the least of which is the tremendous divisiveness it causes in communities threatened with wind development.

The title of your editorial suggested that you would make the case for why wind benefits outweigh the downside. Notably absent was any citing of environmental or energy security benefits.

This has been the trend among those promoting mountaintop wind development. Those arguments have been so thoroughly debunked that most wind proponents, to their credit, don’t even bother with them anymore. Instead, they’ve shifted to that old standby argument – a standard among those pushing any idea with little merit – jobs!

It’s well-documented and accepted – even among developers – that wind projects create very few permanent jobs. Big Wind and its media allies gloss over this fact publicly, however, and make the argument that economic activity “no matter how brief” justifies permanent degradation of our state’s most valuable natural assets.

There’s nothing that sells a bad idea like the promise – even the empty promise – of economic salvation.

Alan Michka is a resident of Lexington.

Source:  By Alan Michka, The Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com 12 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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