I have recently gotten a list of Industrial Wind projects that are being proposed, under construction, or operating in Maine at this time. There are more than 30 projects so far, ranging in size from three turbines to nearly 300 in a single development.
I don’t know where some of these places are but just a rough estimate tells me there will be at least 50 towns involved. I have listened to testimony from people who seemed to know and/or suggested that this is just the beginning. Most of the projects are being proposed in small towns where the people have almost no resources to resist.
Make no mistake about this. The changes about to take place will permanently alter the landscape of Maine’s wild lands like nothing we have ever seen be-fore.
I remember a fall ride into Carrabassett Valley almost 50 years ago. The sign said, “From this point on, your life will never be the same.” That sign was true for me but what is happening now gives that statement a whole new meaning.
This whole thing is being promoted as an environmental issue and the words I hear most often are, “we have to do something.” When it is all said and done the only change that big wind will achieve is to add more expensive electricity to the surplus that Maine already puts into the New England grid.
The federal government will continue increasing the number of coal generating plants and carbon emissions will continue to rise. The only thing green about these projects is the cash (your money) that developers and large landowners will take to the bank.
The wild mountain landscape is the one resource that we have that no one else has. I believe that resource is the key to our economic future if we manage it correctly.
In a speech in 1995 Angus King said the same thing only he went a little further and suggested that it would be bordering on criminal to allow industrial sprawl into these special places. Mr. King must have changed his mind on that but I haven’t.
Greg Drummond is a resident of Highland Plantation.
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