This is in response to Jeremy Payne and Jeff Marks’ guest column (Oct. 5) on alternative energy. I would point out that all such projects have downsides. Those downsides can be social, economic or environmental, and some projects have major problems on all three fronts.
The only green energy source with no environmental downside is conservation, which is also the only one that they didn’t mention.
Wind power in particular has major negative social and economic effects on the communities that host it, and many of Maine’s citizens are passing ordinances to restrict it. Others don’t have that right, and are seeing their rural lifestyles, health, property values and tourism-related businesses destroyed by industrial wind development.
Giant wind turbines also have an environmental impact completely disproportionate to the amount of energy they produce (especially in Maine in the summer, which is the period of peak demand). Visually, they are a cancer on Maine’s iconic landscapes. Wild ecosystems are seriously damaged by mountaintop blasting, roads, substations and power lines (all at a very high carbon cost, of course).
Particularly unconscionable are the bird and bat deaths – and all for less power than could easily be produced by conservation. And remember, the power is mostly sold out of state.
Maine made a huge mistake when it jumped into bed with the wind developers with the Expedited Wind Law. There are other, better technologies. Not all have so many downsides.
Sally McGuire, Carthage
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