December 24, 2011
Letters, Maine

Let’s discuss energy as adults

Sun Journal, 24 December 2011

I was disappointed to read comments of three legislators in response to Gov. Paul LePage’s effort to reduce electricity rates by tapping clean, Canadian hydropower.

LePage’s initiative, along with his push to move oil-centric home heating to cleaner natural gas and locally sourced wood pellets, is an adult energy discussion that’s long overdue in Maine.

Are these three legislators – each a member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee – so committed to mountaintop wind development that they will not even bring an open mind to the table? They seem determined to keep us frozen in the days of early 2008, when the Legislature threw all of our energy eggs into one basket – wind turbines.

Times change, opportunities appear, and choices that seemed reasonable years ago can lose their bloom. Is it too much to ask these Energy Committee members to broaden their outlook on Maine’s energy future?

We might expect such pessimism from the more ideologically driven mountaintop development advocates at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Our legislators, though, shouldn’t have such an allegiance to an industry, or pet energy source, that they pass up wiser options.

LePage’s plan would be cheaper for ratepayers, and would ease the pressure on Maine’s people and mountains to surrender to sprawling, low-yield wind turbines.

The plan doesn’t seek to eliminate wind from Maine’s energy mix. It simply, and wisely, recognizes that better choices might arise in an ever changing energy environment. We shouldn’t ignore them just because certain lobbyists want us to.

Alan Michka, Lexington Township

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