Maine's adventure in wind power

Doug Rooks is correct about at least one thing (May 9). There is a growing backlash to industrial-scale wind turbines on Maine’s mountains. People who care about Maine’s present and future are refusing to roll over for the short-term interests of the wind industry and its largely unfounded claims.

That Mainers are standing up for the well-being of their families, their homes and their state should come as no surprise. In its final report in 2008, the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power predicted that Mainers’ tolerance for wind power development would be limited. They knew that the residents of Maine would discover the high price their state will pay in the form of a degraded quality of place. The return on this sacrifice will be paltry and fleeting.

Rooks stated that deep water wind turbines are still theoretical. Wind turbines’ ability to significantly reduce carbon emissions or our dependence on foreign oil is also theoretical. Some European countries have been at the wind turbine game for decades and are not only still heavily reliant on imported fossil fuels, but are seeing their dependencies grow.

The clean-energy advantages touted by the wind industry are largely paper calculations with no supporting real-world examples.

Let’s call Maine’s adventure in wind what it is: a subsidy grab — Maine’s answer to the Midwest’s ethanol industry. We can’t grow a lot of corn, but we’ve got a lot of mountains we can tear up to grow another dubious green-energy solution.

Alan Michka, Lexington

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Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

So keep them in the Valleys

So keep them in the Valleys where they can be less effective??

 's picture

Veritas has seen wind, like

Veritas has seen wind, like the kind coming from Tron's butt. By the way where is his pal Tron? Probably playing with his short-gun he talked about a couple of day's ago.

RONALD RIML's picture

Hidden Dragon, Visible Ass....

Hidden Dragon, Visible Ass....

Afraid to sign what you write there, Old Hole??

 's picture

Veritas sees wind

Play or live underneath some of these turbines and YOU will figure it out.

Our moose are taking off, heading for quieter areas. They move to high ground in the fall when the wetlands stop producing food. However, the shape of their antlers amplifies sound which is necessary for listening across long distances for females. The low frequency sound produced by turbines is considered potentially more harmful for them because of this. Moose do not return to areas where this sound is produced. 

 

RONALD RIML's picture

Fish-smell; Glad to hear

The moose are smart enough to relocate.

The question now is when you'll be smart enough to wean yourself off fossil fuel.

Or even learn to sign your name to what you write - if in fact you believe it.

RONALD RIML's picture

I've seen wind

Spill out of a sail...

Now we're seeing oil spill into the ocean.

Go play at the beach and you'll figure it out.

 's picture

NIMBY and proud of it!

That's right.  It's time for the citizens of Maine to recognize that being a NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) is a GOOD thing.  No... it's a GREAT thing!  If we Mainers do not stand up and defend our quality of life and quality of place... if we do not protect the natural resources of which we are stewards, then who will?  NIMBYs across this state are refusing to 'fly under the radar'...we take our jobs seriously.  When we extensively research an issue and discover that it is NOT economically feasible, NOT environmentally friendly, that it is NOT going to significantly reduce carbon emissions (as it is purported to do), and that industrial wind developers are NOT being forthright about the negative impacts or forthcoming with the scientific data needed to make responsible and intelligent decisions, then heck, YES!  Of course we're going to stand up,  put our feet down, raise our voices and say "NO!"

It's all about the facts.  NIMBYs are not about rhetoric or propaganda.  Unlike industrial wind developers, we don't give Mainers pat phrases or standard tag lines about 'silver bullets or silver buckshot' or about industrial wind saving American lives.  No quips which state that turbine noise will not be a problem beyond a half mile or so, and we won't point the way to a photo of a happy cow standing under a wind turbine and state that these developments on our peaks will not affect the wildlife... See, we've done-- and are still doing-- our homework.  We WANTED to believe that wind power would do what it was purported to do.  We care about this land and its inhabitants.  And it is exactly for that reason that we are proudly wearing the label of "NIMBY" and refusing to fly under the radar.   

Take away the money and the developers will blow away on the breeze.  That money is mine, and yours, and my 94 year old grandmother's and my 27 year old son's.  I don't know about anyone else, but I was not consulted prior to my government deciding that a disastrous plant to install 350 miles of wind turbines on our mountaintops was the best use of those hard-earned dollars.   The wind is intermittent.  The power generated can not be stored.  Additionally, the power generated will not be kept in the state of Maine, for we do not need it.  We are already an exporter of power, and should we need more, there is an abundance of renewable and affordable hydro power available from our neighbors in Canada.  Science and economics.  Both prove this plan is not feasible and should not be implemented.

So... hype and rhetoric aside, I choose to listen to the facts.  And when my government does not do the same, but proceeds with  a plan that is reckless and dreadfully expensive, I will stand up and, within the bounds of what is legal and ethical, do my utmost to stop it.

I'm a NIMBY, and wicked proud of it!

RONALD RIML's picture

Sailing ships

Couldn't store wind power.

But they eventually got to their ports of call.

Wanna bet there's a way of storing power through conversion? 

 's picture

No one taking this lightly

I don't think anyone who wants to preserve Maine's mountains takes the oil spill lightly. Everyone is saddened by that disaster and the lack of accountability there. However, destroy Maine's scenic beauty or not, the drilling isn't going to stop and oil isn't powering your refrigerator or your hair dryer or your lights anyway. And you want to talk boondoggles? How about Cape Wind (First Wind)? MA residents are going to be paying through the nose for their electricity and within a week of approval, it was announced that the project would cost up to three times the original estimate. Sounds like another Big Dig fleece job to me.

Those who choose to live or vacation in areas of this state that are pristine understand what will be lost. They know the irreprable harm that will come from industrializing these special and fragile areas of the state. And they know that Big Wind is not worth the sacrifice. Once the blasting starts, once the trees are cleared and the roads are built and the power lines are strewn, they won't stop. There won't be any second chance to get this right.

Doug Rooks was right last weekend when he lamented that these projects are not flying under the radar. Local citizens are enacting moratoriums and creating ordinances to protect themselves and their towns. We are not rolling over for companies like First Wind and Patriot Renewables and we are not apologizing.

RONALD RIML's picture

And don't Foget!

That boon-doggle that was the Horseless Carriage!!

The chickens quit laying, the cows stopped producing milk, and you have to have a 'Cryer' running three rods ahead!!!

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