The 2016 Presidential election often touched upon the theme of corruption - the game being rigged - our elected professional politician officials selling out the masses to line their piggish pockets. There is no question - we have been betrayed.
Here's a quick glance at what has been happening in Maine. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Would any of this qualify as corruption, conflict of interest or appearance of conflict of interest?
1. The Maine senate president Justin Alfond
is caught red handed conspiring with the wind industry to pass the laws they want.
2. Angus King
gets a $102 million DOE loan guarantee enabling his project to go forward; he claims breakthrough technology to secure this gift even though it isn't; Congresswoman Chellie Pingree
writes a letter recommending they give him the loan guarantee
3. Chellie Pingree is married to S. Donald Sussman, largest media owner in Maine whose media almost always fail to report on the cons of wind. It turns out we learn that all along, he had been the person who gave First Wind's longtime owner, hedge fund D.E. Shaw
its start with a $28 million stake
4. Governor John Baldacci's PUC Chair Kurt Adams
takes over $1 million in stock options from First Wind while still at the PUC and after interviewing at First Wind for months according to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. He then jumps to First Wind to become their director of transmission. This as the PUC prepares to gift the wind industry with the $1.4 billion CMP upgrade - a ratepayer financed shipping system for the wind industry.
5. EUT member Stacey Fitts
kills 12 citizen-initiated wind bills by kicking the can down the road by calling for a study of wind
. The study gets done and the EUT never looks at it. The citizens' bills are dead. This all happens in front of a snickering EUT committee where some of the members are contemptuous of citizens and spend half the meeting time texting. Meanwhile, we learn that Fitts' employer, part of the renewable energy industry in Maine, boasts on its website that Fitts is busy at work getting the right laws passed
6. EUT Co-chair Jon Hinck
squelches citizen wind bills while his wife Juliet Browne is the wind industry's top attorney in Maine
7. Alex Cornell du Houx
of the EUT also squelches citizens' wind bills and it turns out he is an employee of the Truman Project's Operation Free which advocates for wind. Its logo feautures a wind turbine
8. Attorney General Janet Mills
conducts an investigation of the aforementioned Kurt Adams stock options and blesses it. Her sister, state CDC director Dora Mills says that there are no peer reviewed studies showing that wind could be dangerous to health, despite considerable evidence to the contrary.
9. Governor John Baldacci
hand picks a wind task force consisting of virtually all pro-wind members and gives them marching orders to clear out any obstacles standing in the way of wind development. This results in sweeping legislation known as Governor Baldacci's expedited wind law which makes it all but impossible to stop wind projects.
10. In September 2009 Governor Baldacci returns from an Iberdrola-hosted trip to Europe to "study" wind. Upon his return he talks of a Maine law that prevents companies like Iberdrola from owning transmission (which they do) and owning wind projects (which they want to do). He talks about his needing to look into this law and getting it changed. This is covered in the press. Such a law is now under consideration in the legislature. (January 2016). In December 2016, former Governor John Baldacci became Vice Chairman
of Iberdrola's wind division, Avangrid. This is not covered in the press.
From September 2009:
"Baldacci also says the state is planning to change local regulations to allow Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola Renovables to invest in wind farms there. Iberdrola is unable to invest in generation because of the transmission and distribution assets it owns in the state through Central Maine Power; however, Baldacci says legislation being proposed in the state legislature would change the rules for renewable generation".
An even better version of this quote from Baldacci appeared in one of the articles in the PPH which reporter Matt Wickenheiser wrote, covering Baldacci's European wind trip.
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