I live in an Unorganized Territory. There is no recognized “town government” in Lexington. We’re too small for that. But we’re still American citizens. We believe that our voices and our wills should not be disregarded simply because we live in rural Maine.
More than 80 percent of our residents signed petitions opposing Iberdrola Renewables’ proposed industrial wind facility planned for the mountain summits rising above our homes. But because of the 2008 passage of LD 2283 (former Gov. John Baldacci’s “Wind Energy Act”), rural citizens in the “expedited wind permitting zone” aren’t allowed to have any real influence in the future of our communities.
In any other situation, an 80 percent vote would be considered a landslide. The people’s will would have carried the day. Why is this not the case for us?
We have told Iberdrola and landowner Plum Creek about our collective decision. We’ve asked them to abandon their wind development plans. Instead of respecting our resolve, they’ve continued to move ahead with their plans; contacting locals, asking them for private “meetings” (while refusing to hold public meetings), asking them for easements to cross their properties and telling them that property owners have the right to use their land however they see fit.
If sight, sound, smell, pollution or environmental impacts stopped at property boundaries, this conversation might be different. But everyone in Lexington stands to bear the impacts if this industrial facility is built in our community.
If we lived in neighboring New Portland, this wouldn’t be an issue. But, we don’t. So, it is.
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