As a lifelong Democrat, I am concerned about the inroads out-of-state wind corporations have made on our politics. The latest example is Democratic Senate President Justin Alfond’s bill that I call the “Corporate Windpower Revenge Act.” It would, in effect, retaliate against the Department of Environmental Protection for rejecting two questionable wind power site applications and against Maine residents who wish to have their concerns taken seriously at future wind power hearings.
Alfond’s bill addresses these concerns by stating that in the future, all Maine agencies may only consider the “testimony of qualified experts … and … evidence supported by independent confirmation of reliability.” So the corporations must believe that the DEP acted on false or faulty facts when it rejected the two applications.
At a hearing, a corporate attorney urged the DEP to disregard the testimony of citizens because they were not credentialed “experts,” meaning that expensive representatives that only the wealthy taxpayer supported corporations would hire should be heard. Mere citizens usually cannot afford to hire experts. She also complained that the 1,000-signed petition formulated by local citizens should be disregarded partly because the signatures had not been validated and may be fraudulent.
I am appalled that a leader of my party, the party of Ed Muskie and George Mitchell, in the interest of out-of-state corporations, is seeking to eliminate the right of Maine citizens to be effectively heard at future hearings on issues of great interest to them. I think it may be time to organize a Democrats Against Wind Power organization. I know there are many of us.
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