I am writing in response to the May 27th BDN article, “LePage’s critical wind-power stance creating uncertainty.”
I don’t agree with a lot of Gov. LePage’s policies, but I think his energy policy makes good sense. The RPS and the Expedited Wind Law were written and passed by the Legislature as emergency measures when no one, including the Legislature, knew what the real impacts would be. Certainly higher energy prices are one of them.
Your article states, “The wind farms built in Maine since 2008 or currently under construction cost $974 million to build, according to industry data,” and the industry claims it has invested over a billion dollars in Maine.
However, one of the facts never mentioned is the amount of money paid to China or Spain or some other foreign country for the cost of buying and transporting wind turbines to Maine. According to the federal government, at least 60 percent of the total costs of a project have been spent in this manner. The $974 million shrinks to about $390 million.
Just imagine if, truly, a billion dollars were invested in Maine in the manufacturing sector or were spread amongst small contractors for retrofitting our housing stock. More energy could be saved than is being produced by wind farms. Instead of just “maintaining” existing wind-related construction jobs, thousands of new, full-time jobs could be created without environmental damage to our mountains or threats to Maine’s wildlife or its tourism industry – or without inflating our electric rates.