J. Payne: Debate about wind power

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I applaud the Sun Journal editorial (Feb. 5) for acknowledging the benefits of the $1 billion investment made by wind power development in Maine during the past five years. The follow-up editorial (Feb. 8) discussing reader comments also focuses some much-needed attention on the quality of the debate over wind power.

There is room for improvement in any human undertaking. Those of us involved in the development of any industry understand that, and renewable energy is no exception. We are quite willing to talk with anyone who has legitimate questions and concerns about impacts and a genuine interest in improving the way policies and projects are implemented.

That said, it is encouraging to see concerns expressed on the tone and content of the messages spread by wind opponents. It has become increasingly difficult to find people opposed to wind who want to have constructive discussion. Instead, the dialogue often feels poisoned by misinformation and angry rhetoric.

As a supporter and spokesman for the wind community, I work hard to ensure that the facts I use are solid and backed up by data and analysis. There is too much to lose if even one point is called into question. Opponents, on the other hand, seem emboldened by the power of creating doubt and fear by any means necessary.

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Thank you for creating a forum where important public issues can be discussed in a civil manner.

Jeremy Payne, Augusta

Executive director,

Maine Renewable Energy

Association

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