There are bills to be considered in the Maine Legislature re-considering industrial wind power. There are reasons to support those bills:
Money. These are huge public works projects approved by the Legislature very quickly with very little public input, and without the cost/benefit analysis one expects. Taxpayers are paying companies to take the tops off mountains, build new roads and huge power lines, then they sell the power. Sweet deal for them; how about us?
Pollution. Besides the noise, flashing lights at night, visual and groundwater pollution and damage to wild lands, there’s all the pollution involved in construction. Cement, for instance, is a large source of mercury. All this for a supposedly “green” industry.
High-tensile power lines. Not just ugly, they’re a possible cancer risk from EMF radiation, and they hurt property values.
Bird strikes. These have recently been shown to be about 60 times greater than industry estimates. From eagles to songbirds, that’s a lot of dead birds.
Bat strikes. Even worse; in fact, with bat populations crashing, there should probably be an investigation and/or moratorium under the Endangered Species Act.
Is this a grab bag? Maybe, but they’re all questions the Maine legislators should have considered before putting industrial wind on the fast track.
Better late than never.
Instead of the short-term construction jobs, we could use that money to convert old textile mills. Maine could be the Saudi Arabia of solar panel production, using in-river hydropower.
Now that would be true green energy.
Sally McGuire, Carthage
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding