I want to clarify a misrepresentation in the article “A study in how special interests get their way in Legislature,” written by Naomi Schalit for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and published in the Sun Journal Jan. 8.

The article misrepresents both the reason for and the intent of the amendment to the wind bill (LD 1750), which I offered to correct problems and concerns with the bill.

First, the amendment was drafted precisely because of the testimony and concerns raised by Maine citizens before, and at, the public hearing. The amendment was drafted at my request by the non-partisan, professional staff in the Office of Policy and Legal Analyst, not by any lobbyist.

Second, the amendment did not, as reported, “gave the wind industry much of what it wanted.” In fact, the amendment deleted everything in the bill and simply required that the Department of Environmental Protection follow existing law, which requires a public hearing process before making rules. That rule-making process, known as the Administrative Procedures Act, is required of all government agencies that make rules to implement state laws.

Therefore, contrary to the representation in the article, the amendment did address concerns raised by Maine citizens and simply required the DEP to follow the same rules every other agency must follow when drafting rules to implement state laws.

John Cleveland, Auburn

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