A recent BDN editorial hinted that a new approach to wind development in Maine might be advisable. The BDN wrote: “Turbines should be placed in areas that make sense to all involved: people paying for them and people living with them.”
The statement could be a simple and better way to approach wind development in the state.
A reassessment of Maine’s current approach has already been suggested in a legislatively required independent review of Maine wind development completed earlier this year.
Several consultants took a comprehensive look at how things have gone since Maine doubled down on wind development four years ago. That 2008 bet took the form of a sweeping rewrite of historic standards and statute. It gave developers the spring they need to leapfrog over the obstacles to their projects that affected citizens might represent.
The consultants wisely concluded that change might be in order. Without change, acrimony and litigation will continue to define our experience with wind power in Maine. Without more reasonable state standards, residents of organized towns will continue to enact prohibitive wind ordinances to protect their communities.
Without change, residents of the unorganized territory, like me, will still have little or no means to preserve community values in the face of unwanted and unnecessary wind development.
A new approach is essential if we are to have any voice in our own township’s future with regard to wind power. Only our residents can, and should, determine if industrial wind development makes sense in our community.
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