In the Sun Journal June 20, there appeared a factual article, written by Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, regarding the history and subsequent demise of LD 616. The article was accurate but the headline, “Bill to limit wind farms strikes out,” was not only off-topic, it was wrong.
LD 616 was a citizens’ bill originating from my community. I consulted on the bill, testified in support of it, attended a work session and wrote several letters attempting to educate Maine’s legislators about the measure. I was in the Senate chambers when the bill was effectively killed by Democratic leadership. I was interviewed for, and quoted in, the story the Sun Journal published.
I can say without hesitation that LD 616 was not a “bill to limit wind farms.” LD 616 was a citizens’ rights bill – period.
In 2008, less than 1 percent of rural Maine citizens were stripped of a right still held by every resident of a municipality and every resident of an unorganized territory or plantation not inside the expedited permitting area.
LD 616 would have given disenfranchised Mainers a mechanism to have equal rights restored. The passage of LD 616 would not have barred wind development from those communities. It would have simply restored a right to community participation that more than 99 percent of Maine residents still enjoy.
Such misleading headlines epitomize why a simple citizens’ rights bill was killed. How can citizens hope to be heard when the boldest print and the most powerful voices distort the truth?
Karen Bessey Pease, Lexington Township
Editor’s note: LD 616, if passed, would have removed Carrying Place Township, Concord Township, Highland Plantation, Lexington Township and Pleasant Ridge Plantation from the expedited permitting area for wind energy development under the jurisdiction of the Maine Land Use Planning Commission.
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