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Wind power, no free lunch

Free power from wind sounds almost too good to be true. Unfortunately, it is – there’s no free lunch.

Consider the wind project at Passadumkeag Mountain. Within an eight-mile range of the mountain, there are at least eight beautiful lakes affected, lakes classed as significant or outstanding by the 1987 Maine Wildlands Lake Assessment. Scenic views will be affected, sound and light pollution introduced and wildlife habitat, including those of bald eagles, degraded and fragmented.

If landowners like me want to sell, property values may decrease, perhaps by as much as 15-40 percent, as has happened in other states. Furthermore, tourists avoid wind tower areas.

Who benefits from the Passadumkeag Mountain project? None of the electricity will be used in Maine. It’s contracted to an out-of-state company and will be sent to a Massachusetts electric company to boost their green quotient. Profits go to a private equity company in Texas, which invests in oil and natural gas as well as wind. As for job creation, short-term construction jobs exist, but long term, very few Mainers will find technical jobs with wind companies.

When I travel, people I speak to universally love Maine. However, soon I may hear, “Oh yes, I used to vacation in Maine, but now there are so many wind towers that it’s not pleasant and pristine like it used to be.” Maine’s primary industry is tourism. I resent out of state companies stomping all over us, damaging our economy, our land and our wildlife to generate profits.

Helen Klocko

Old Town