Most Mainers seem convinced by wind power

There's a reason Angus King is a former governor of Maine and Jonathan Carter, former Green Independent Party candidate, is not.

King is more often in the mainstream of political thinking in Maine while Carter has never been able to accept that a majority of Mainers believe in mixed use of the state's forest resources, including wind power.

The two former candidates for Maine's highest elected office traded barbs and accusations last week over King's investment in a 128-megawatt wind power project in Somerset County.

King and a group of investors hope to plant 48 wind turbines on a Highland Plantation site which is 3.5 miles from Carter's home.

Carter says the project would require blasting 1.6 million cubic yards of rock and dirt, ultimately decimating alpine terrain and generating visual and noise pollution. What's more, he said, the project would fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carter is partially correct. Judging by the Kibby Project in the Chain of Ponds area, these projects do involve considerable road-building in difficult terrain.

On the other hand, Maine is already crisscrossed by thousands of miles of logging roads.

The roads can lead to erosion and other problems, but they also provide a living for thousands of Mainers who work in the forest and access for hundreds of thousands of fishermen, hunters and snowmobilers.

It's an arrangement that an overwhelming number of Mainers are comfortable with and favor.

Maine has clearly established where wind projects can and cannot be built in an expedited fashion, and the projects are subject to a host of regulatory reviews and public hearings.

That wind power projects do not reduce greenhouse gases is nonsensical. When the turbines are spinning, the power is going into the grid where it offsets other sources of electricity, including natural gas and coal.

Carter called King a "mountain-slayer, " and King offered to buy Carter a bus ticket to West Virginia where fossil fuel extraction decimates the land, pours poisons into streams and regularly kills miners.

And that's all before it is burned to produce power, pouring tons of lethal chemicals and pollutants into the air, many of which end up fouling our air and water in Maine.

Realistically, all forms of electric-power generation result in trade-offs. We're not about to go without electricity to run our homes and factories.

So, we need to select sources of generation that have the least impact on our environment. Wind and solar power are simply far more benign than burning fossil fuels.

But, ultimately, the most important fact about wind power in Maine is that Mainers believe in it.

A recent statewide telephone survey of 500 registered voters found that 88 percent support wind power development here.

Even in the rural counties where projects are being sited, 83 percent favored wind power.

Meanwhile, nearly three out of four Mainers said they would support a wind power project near where they live or visit.

They realize that wind power is not only better for the environment, but that it has the potential to support jobs for Mainers and contribute millions in tax revenue.

Those are hard arguments to beat.

editorialboard@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Melissa  Dunn's picture

wind power is not the ONLY

wind power is not the ONLY source for renewable resources for energy (to be fed into the grid)... but it is a start.

Lisa Lindsay's picture

No one asked me

I don't believe a thing Angus King or anyone else from these wind companies says. Try sitting in a meeting in one of these small, unprotected towns and asking them a direct question and see if you can get an honest answer.

 's picture

I don't believe it

I don't believe that most Mainer's favor wind power. The only reason they are being put up are the huge incentives that are paid the investors. It's just a feel good (for the bureaucrats) issue. They produce very little power and spoil the landscape.

 's picture

It ain't so simple

The Editorial board makes it sound so simple. Little real scientific information is out there. What is makes it almost clear that wind power in the western mountains of Maine will have very little positive impact on energy generation. But wind power development in western Maine will have a huge impact on the environment, wildlife, human populations, and tourism. If Wind Power in the Western Mountains were economically feasible, then why does it require huge Federal and state Government subsidies and TIF's.
Most of all I object to the anarchy out there. Any and every mountain can become the target of this development with little regulation. Who decides which ones - the promoters. Towns are ill equiped to challenge these projects. Where is the planning?

 's picture

CONVINCED

Not so convinced...... I saw the Wind Turbines up close and personal while on my vacation. As impressive as they may be I am not truely convinced that is what is "best for Maine and the area in question." I question whether or not we can even access this area for snowmobiling, hunting and fishing especially if someone gets in and decides to destroy property. I can see this entire area being shut off for all who enjoy the outdoors. As far as the power these turbines produce are we really to benefit and see a reduction in our monthly power bill ? I think not... I am confident this power will be shipped out of state and or country. Also wanted to mention the day we were up checking these turbines out was a very windy day. I noticed that some of them were not even moving ??? whats up with that ??

Bob Woodbury's picture

Mr. Carter said

"... the project would fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." Mr. Carter is the Green Party spokesman? I wonder how many Greenies would agree with him?

 's picture

which is more credible

Who in the world thinks that Agnes King is more credible than John Carter? Just because he may be able to fool the masses into voting for him as a politician, doesn't make him more credible or more moral or more knowledgable.
And who believes that a poll by the wind industry (please quote your sources) is more credible than one by the Bangor Daily News?
That is just crazy talk.

 's picture

You're saying that because

You're saying that because the "wind industry" paid for the poll (cite your source please) that the poll is inaccurate? Cynical aren't you.

 's picture

The poll cited was paid for by the wind industry

I'm not sure why the Sun Journal would refer to the poll and its results without cautioning its readers that it was paid for by the wind industry.

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