29 April 2014
The 126th Legislature of the State of Maine
Dear Honorable Members of the 126th Legislature:
Under the authority vested in me by Article IV, Part Third, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Maine, I am hereby vetoing LD 1750, “An Act To Establish Submission Requirements for Wind Energy through Rulemaking.”
The legislation circuitously attempts to restrict the ability of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) from requesting additional information from wind developers for proposed projects. Apparently, the Legislature does not believe it would be helpful to understand how a wind project would help reduce energy prices, provide part-time as well as full-time jobs and have potentially detrimental environmental effects.
I disagree. It might have been controversial if the DEP required that projects demonstrate specific energy benefits or employment levels. That is not what DEP has requested. The DEP simply updated their submission requirements for applications for future applications and requested some pertinent questions. The Legislature has offered no valid reason to oppose these questions being asked of wind developers.
Wind development can have a dramatic effect on our entire State, but it is most acute on the local populations. Their voices should be enhanced in the permitting process, and providing information only informs the State of the pros and cons for development. The DEP’s request is a modest one in the context of a decision that will have implications for decades in rural communities.
For these reasons, I return LD 1750 unsigned and vetoed. I strongly urge the Legislature to sustain it.
S/Paul R. LePage
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