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Wind law denies townships input on local development

Citizens in Lexington and Concord townships have taken a stand. In 2008, without our input, our rural communities were haphazardly rezoned as “industrial,” but for one industry only – the wind industry.

Spain’s Iberdrola Renewables has set its sights on the mountain summits of these townships.

If we were citizens in an organized town, we would have the ability to draft an ordinance to ensure that our health, quality of life and property values would be protected from massive grid-scale wind facilities. But the Wind Energy Act effectively removed from rural residents our right to have input in the future of our communities.

Without recourse, we decided to make our voices heard regarding those important “quality of life” issues that will so greatly impact us.

A large majority of our residents signed petitions stating our opposition to industrial wind development within our borders. These “votes” in hand, we submitted letters to Iberdrola and landowner Plum Creek, asking them to respect our majority vote and abandon their planned project.

Iberdrola didn’t respond. Plum Creek said our “views” would be heard during the permitting process. But they’ve already “heard” our views, which were signed in ink and submitted to the governor – and they’ve decided to discount our votes.

Our fates are in the hands of the Department of Environmental Protection, which has approved every wind development permit application to cross its desk.

Citizens in unorganized territories must not be disenfranchised simply because we live in rural Maine. Our votes and voices must carry equal weight as those of citizens in organized towns.

We’ve spoken clearly. Our state government must defend the will of the people. A foreign corporation must not have greater rights than American citizens. Iberdrola should respect the resolve of the people and abandon its wind development plans for Lexington and Concord townships.

Karen Bessey Pease

Lexington Township