AUGUSTA – A legislative committee has postponed its decision on whether to speed up a study on the impacts of commercial wind power in Maine.
The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee was scheduled to vote today on a bill, LD 1366, that grew out of efforts by critics to slow the pace of wind farm development and modify the state’s Wind Energy Act.
But the committee postponed the discussion and vote until Tuesday afternoon to avoid a conflict with a legislative session in the House this afternoon.
Opponents of commercial wind power want the Maine Legislature to address issues including noise, visual impacts and property values. The committee initially faced 14 bills drafted by activists on behalf of residents who live near operating and proposed wind farms.
The committee voted tabled 13 of the bills, including a proposed moratorium on new projects, and incorporated the most pressing issues into a single bill.
On Tuesday, committee members moved to amend a part of the wind act that requires a statewide assessment of wind power development starting in December 2013. Members suggested moving up the date to March 2012 and expanding the scope of the study, although it wasn’t clear how they would pay for the review. Wind critics said they would continue to push for restrictions.
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