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Land-based wind power costs more than it’s worth  

Credit:  The Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com 14 March 2011 ~~

We recently took a snowmobile onto one of the mountains in Highland Plantation on a clear, cold night to see if we could see the Northern Lights.

A group of us, some from out of state, wanted to go as high up as we could and hopefully get a great view. As we huddled together looking up at the night sky, we couldn’t miss the other light show just slightly to the left of where we were looking.

There were many red, blinking lights from the Kibby Wind Turbine Project about 30 miles away. I couldn’t believe they were 30 miles away because they were so big and intrusive.

It was hard to keep our attention on the beautiful natural light show because those big, red, blinking lights kept redirecting us, much like airport lights do. It made me feel sad to think that this is just one project in Maine taking away from Maine’s beauty as there are other wind projects planned.

The wind industry wants to string these lights all through our state, not just this one location. Maine is known for its night sky and the natural beauty of the mountains, and these enormous industrial machines will forever change that.

I live in Highland Plantation, where they plan to erect 39 or more wind turbines surrounding my home. My home is a little over a mile from the sites, and I just can’t imagine what kind of light show I will have.

Some people say that I’m just one person and one backyard, but they’re wrong. Just looking at the Northern Lights the other night proved it.

It only took one project 30 miles away to take away from the spectacular event we were all hoping to see. Just imagine if the wind industry gets its way with our beautiful state. There will be more than just my backyard affected.

Heidi Emery

Highland Plantation

The arguments against the clearcutting of Maine’s most remote areas for wind turbines, and the opposition to forever losing Maine’s rural, essential “sense of place,” are both well founded.

When weighed against short-term job creation, which is real, and long-term independence from foreign petroleum, which is wind industry propaganda, the pros and cons can be argued until we’re blue in the face.

But there is an underlying truth here that every Maine citizen should find disturbing. The majority is being ignored.

Backroom politics and blatant cash contributions from the wind developers to organizations including the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine have run roughshod over the democratic process.

Numbers don’t lie. WABI Channel 5 in Bangor did an opinion poll on Feb. 24 regarding industrial wind development in Maine.

Out of 909 respondents, 17 were in favor of building turbines on land. Less than 2 percent in favor of the growing destruction we’re witnessing in rural Maine. But on and on it goes.

Permitting for wind development falls on the shoulders of the Land Use Regulation Commission, a Maine government agency. By definiton, in a representative government, LURC’s responsibility is to represent the wishes of the people – not the wishes of out-of-state developers, former governors’ companies, former governors’ sons – or southern Maine contractors and blasters who are trading the future of rural Maine for short-term financial gain.

Jack Gagnon

Lakeville

Attention all Mainers, everyone who hunts and fishes, hikes or skis, owns land or a camp, takes a Sunday drive, anyone who runs a tourism-based business, anyone who loves the out of doors, anyone who looks up at the stars in the sky on a cold winter night.

Do your homework before you jump on the land-based wind-power bandwagon. It really has nothing to do with green energy and a lot to do with money, and specifically government money.

Let’s have a moratorium so we see the real effects of land-based wind – effects on watersheds, wildlife, property values and the quality of life that we all love and appreciate.

Why are we in such a rush to blast our mountaintops? Land-based wind power is unreliable and inefficient. Please educate yourself, shut your lights off when you leave a room, don’t leave your truck running when you go in a store, shut your computers off and come to the mountains.

They are the backyard for all Mainers.

Nora West

New Portland

Source:  The Portland Press Herald, www.pressherald.com 14 March 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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