I read Paul Caron’s Feb. 23 letter to the editor about the shortage of wood pellets and felt sympathy and ire. More than five-sixths of Maine is forested, and forest products are a major renewable energy source. Instead of lopping off Maine’s small mountains for wind turbines and clear cutting swaths of forest for new transmission lines and access roads, we should be harvesting wood products for use in Maine and beyond, especially as paper mills pass away.
Anyone with the new heat pumps knows that, below 20 degrees, it starts to get drafty in older houses. And, when temperatures are below zero, or the wind is whipping, you might as well be running an air conditioner. Meanwhile, wind turbines are using electricity, melting ice on blades and breaking out-of-control spinning.
Maine needs a sensible energy policy that ensures our energy security. In a state with more trees than people, it is a disgrace that a renewable energy supply such as wood pellets should be scarce.
While Maine’s forest products industry languishes, the state continues to prop up unreliable and intermittent wind power with a wind law that favors the out-of-state wind industry at the expense of Mainers. Instead, Maine should provide incentives to its forest products industry. This would keep Mainers warmer and provide much-needed relief to forest landowners and producers of wood derived fuels. Our forests, managed sustainably, are a reliable renewable energy resource.
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