In an April 15 editorial (“PUC made right call on wind power investment”), the Maine Sunday Telegram states: “From an environmental perspective, the benefits of expanding wind generation are worth the visual impact.”
Environmentally, industrial wind has yet to prove any of its claims. No scientific evidence exists to prove the environmental benefits of industrial wind. In fact, the recent Bentek study disproved the CO2-reduction myth that has bolstered this “green” energy for so long.
The American Bird Conservancy’s studies on raptor, bat and migratory bird kills by industrial turbines have prompted lawsuits by the Sierra Club and Audubon alleging violations of federal laws. Fragmenting fragile and critical wildlife habitat with industrial roads, transmission lines, clear cutting and herbicide spraying hardly constitutes good environmental stewardship.
Forty years of industrial wind development nationwide has netted a mere 3 percent of our energy needs and resulted in thousands of abandoned, rusting turbines littering the landscapes of Hawaii, Texas and California. Will turning Maine’s mountains into junkyards make us more environmentally friendly?
Destroying Maine’s viewsheds threatens Maine’s most powerful economic engine. Tourism brings $10 billion in goods and services and $535 million in taxes annually into this state and provides 175,000 full-time jobs. Tourists are drawn here by our pristine environment and our scenic viewsheds.
How does threatening this valuable, storied and much-beloved landscape with sprawling industrial development benefit our state from any perspective? Our iconic mountains are not renewable. We are the stewards of one of the most beautiful states in the nation. What sort of legacy will we leave our children?
We outlaw billboards on our highways as “unsightly” but destroy our scenic viewsheds? Perhaps the Maine Sunday Telegram should better explain its position.