There’s been a lot of talk about whether Rumford’s proposed wind ordinance is “fair.” As a resident, I’m not so interested in its fairness to the town or the wind industry so much as to future generations.
Will we saddle them with a chain of hulking hilltop refuse from an industry that collapsed when subsidies vanished, or when technology passed their machinery by?
A 2006 Brookings Institute report emphasized that Maine’s single most valuable asset is clearly its “quality of place” and its scenic “brand.” Is it fair to future generations to squander that unique asset for less than six permanent local jobs in an industry that will export its taxpayer-subsidized profits outside this community?
Once upon a time, fire towers (unobtrusive, silent, sources of spectacular views) dotted the region’s mountains. Technology rendered them obsolete, and now they’re almost all torn down – some rusting in heaps, toppled in place. These turbines will dwarf fire towers many times over in size and in numbers, and require resculpting the very mountains to install them.
What will their legacy be when they are rendered obsolete in the world of rapidly changing green energy technology?
Maine’s grid is already one of the greenest in the nation. Maine uses almost no coal or oil to produce electricity, and wind turbines will not help remove either from generation sources; therefore, turbines will not appreciably help remove greenhouse gasses or reduce dependency on foreign oil.
We will vote “no” on the wind ordinance.
Brie Weisman and Jon Starr, Rumford
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