I am an Intervener in the First Wind/Champlain Wind Bowers Mountain application currently before LURC. At their Last Meeting, the LURC Commissioners voted, unanimously, to deny the permit. They instructed Staff to draw up the denial, which is to be finalized at the next Commission meeting, on December 7, 2011. This was a great victory for the People of the State of Maine.
Yesterday I received an email from Juliet Browne, head Council for the applicant [and also, just coincidentally— wife of State Representative John Hink, who sits on the Legislature’s Energy/Utilities /Technology Committee, which makes the laws governing wind development….and a man who is now running for the U.S. Senate…]. In that email, and the attachments [see below], she has requested that the applicant be allowed to withdraw its application, and resubmit a modified application at a later date.
Basically, since the LURC Commissioners have done their jobs, and are ready to deny a very bad project, the Applicant now wants to change the rules. They want to deny the People of Maine a victory, and they want to be able to reapply, without the specter of an official denial hanging over them.
They just can’t lose gracefully, even when they have been proven to be in the wrong.
Instead, they are trying to game the system. They are trying to play the People of Maine, and the LURC Commissioners, for suckers. They are acting like they are ‘entitled.’ And they are proving that far from the generous benefactors that they would like people to see them as, they are really just another greedy, well connected, subsidy sucking corporation, who believes that they are better than the People, and the Laws, of Maine. They don’t believe that the rules should apply to them. They believe that if things aren’t going their way, they should be able to thumb their noses at the People of Maine, at the Commissioners and Staff of the Land Use Regulation Commission, and at all of our laws, rules and procedures.
In short, they are acting like spoiled children.
It’s time that the spoiled children were spanked.
The decision rests with the LURC Commissioners. If they reject First Wind’s request, and move forward with the denial of the Bowers Mountain project, they will be showing the People of Maine that they matter–That our laws and procedures can work, and that no corporation, no matter how well connected, can trample us.
If they cave in to the request and allow First Wind to pull their application and bring back a ‘modified’ version, they will telling us, once and for all, that the People of Maine, our principles and convictions, simply don’t matter.
PLEASE write to LURC and ask them to deny First wind’s request. Ask them to stand their ground and move forward with a full and absolute denial of the Bowers Mountain/DP4889 application at their December 7, 2011meeting. This is the decision that the Commissioners made at their last meeting. This is the decision that they made public. This is the decision that they should stand behind.
Please send your emails to email@example.com and put Bowers/DP4889 in the subject line. Please be polite, but please be firm! A carbon Copy to firstname.lastname@example.org as well as email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org and your State Representative and State Senator, wouldn’t hurt.
This needs to be done ASAP. Like, NOW. There will likely be a procedural order deciding this, issued soon, and they must hear from you BEFORE that order is issued.
Below you will find the applicant’s cover letter and request, as well as my response to LURC.
Please write, folks. The Commissioners have finally stepped up and made the right decision in a wind case—let’s encourage them to stand by that decision, and not let the lawyers play games.
Maine Land Use Regulation Commission
In The Matter Of: DP4889–Bowers Mountain Wind Project
November 9, 2011
Re: Applicant’s request to withdraw/re-submit application.
David P. Corrigan
Registered Maine Master Guide
Fletcher Mountain Outfitters
82 Little Houston Brook Road
Concord Twp., Maine 04920
I have just received the applicant’s request to be allowed to withdraw, and then re-submit their application for the Bowers, DP 4889 case, and as an Intervener in the case, and a Resident of the State of Maine, I must strongly object. While I am familiar with Ms. Browne’s tactics in these cases, and am not really surprised at the request, I would hope that the Commissioners would not be seriously swayed by her arguments.
After all Parties have followed the rules, and all have expended considerable time, effort, and resources on this case, the Commissioners came together to make a unanimous decision to deny the permit. Now, not happy with the outcome, the Applicant wants to change the rules. Where does it end?
In the cover letter from Ms. Browne, first she asks to be allowed to withdraw the application [which would indicate to me that the application would be dead, and no longer under consideration], and then in the next paragraph, she states: “The Applicant agrees to extend the deadline for the Commission to issue a final decision on DP 4889 through January, 2012, to allow the Commission the opportunity to consider and rule on this request at its December meeting in advance of taking final action on a decision document.”
So, it appears that after taking full advantage of the “expedited” time frame set out in Statute, the Applicant has now decided that since they are going to lose, since the Commissioners have ruled against them, that they would now like to change the rules.
Where does it end?
I do not believe that withdrawing and re-submitting the application is appropriate, for many reasons– including fairness to all involved, as well as, practically speaking, the fact that the Commission has already made its decision, and the reasons for that decision, known. No amount of “tweaking,” will change the problems with this application, and if the applicant wants to start over and submit a new application, putting all Parties, including the Commission, through this process again, then they should start from scratch, with a firm denial of DP 4889 behind them.
To do otherwise is unfair to all involved, including not only the Interveners and the Commission, but also every Citizen of the State of Maine who depends on LURC to do the right thing, and to follow procedures that are equitable to all.
If the Commission grants the request of the Applicant to withdraw the application for DP 4889, and to extend the process into January, 2012 to accommodate that withdrawal, and then allows the Applicant to re-submit a “modified” application, they will be sending a message to the People of Maine that the Land Use Regulation Commission does not stand behind its own decisions, but rather, bows to the demands of influential Applicants. The Commission will also be opening the way for future appeals and legal actions.
I strongly urge the Commission to do the right thing and deny the Applicant’s request. I further ask that the Commission proceed as planned, finalizing the denial of DP 4889 at the December 7, 2011 Commission meeting, bringing this case to a close. This is the right thing to do. To allow the Applicant to game the system in the way that they are currently requesting, is an insult to all involved.
David P. Corrigan