In a recent mailing, the Maine Renewable Energy Association asks recipients to notify their elected officials of their opposition to the passage of LD 616. Supporters of the bill are described as a “small but vocal minority,” intent on denying to all Mainers the benefits of industrial wind development. Readers are told that “bills like LD 616 … seek to squeeze out new wind projects with bad policies.” The “bad policies” are not explained, and for good reason.
When the Wind Energy Act of 2008 created “expedited permitting areas,” it severely restricted the right of residents within those communities to speak out in open hearings regarding rezoning and industrial development. LD 616 provides a means by which a community can petition to be removed from that list, restoring to it the same rights enjoyed before 2008 – and retained by most others in Maine.
The association knows this to be true. Its representative testified before the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee that the curtailment of residents’ rights was simply collateral damage, the voice of the people merely an added “layer of bureaucracy,” expendable in the name of expediency.
Investigate the bill. If you find, as I have, that the efforts of the association are both disingenuous and misleading, and that laws must apply equally to all, please let your representatives know you support LD 616. We may be small in number, but we remain passionate in defense of our rights. The passage of LD 616 will help to restore our rights now and may protect others in the future.
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