Reps. Fitts, Hinck and Du Houx Should Recuse Themselves from EUT Wind Decisions

Jon Hinck, Alex Cornell du Houx and Stacey Fitts - three of the 12 members (25%) of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.

The following is the definition of Conflict of Interest from the Maine Government website:

"The Legislative Ethics Law lists several situations involving a conflict of interest. These include situations in which a Legislator or a member of the Legislator’s immediate family has a unique and distinct interest in legislation, or accepts or engages in employment that could impair the Legislator’s judgment. In some cases, a conflict can exist if the employer or client of a Legislator — or another person or organization in close economic association with the Legislator — has a direct financial interest in legislation."

Jon Hinck is married to Juliet Browne who is a lawyer and partner at Verill Dana whose main practice deals with the defense of wind power companies .She has been extremely busy in the past few years representing wind developers on the local level, before Maine DEP ,and LURC and defending the companies in numerous appeals and lawsuits . She has represented First Wind, TransCanada and Independence Wind and is quite possibly the wind industry’s leading attorney in Maine.

Alex Cornell du Houx, an avid supporter of wind power, is the outreach coordinator of the Truman National Security Project. This organization states a deep philosophical belief that climate change is a national security threat. On that subject one of their position papers includes the following statement concerning the threat of climate change to our country’s national security, "Even if you do not have complete information, you still need to take action! Waiting for 100% certainty during a crisis can be disastrous." That sounds awfully like, “Shoot first then ask questions “. A sister organization of the Truman National Security Project is Operation Free, where Mr. Du Houx serves as Campaign Director. Operation Free lists as its first core motivational principal “get America running on clean energy”. In fact, the organization’s logo prominently features industrial wind turbines.

Stacey Fitts, co-chair of the Joint Standing Committee on
Energy, Utilities and Technology, works for Kleinschmidt Associates, an engineering, licensing, environmental service firm offering specialized technical services to the renewable industry. Attached to this email is some information regarding that firm. Kleinschmidt’s wind focus is primarily off -shore wind power, but the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee makes decisions on offshore wind and decisions made for offshore wind will benefit onshore, such as anything that helps along large transmission projects. Co-Chair Fitts was quoted in the February 7, 2011 Sun-Journal as saying "Everyone wants to find the conflict, the snake in the grass. But every legislator in the building is conflicted if you were to take that same standard and apply it to everyone else. It’s the nature of being part-time legislators."

But what happens when the legislator’s employer actively approves of its employee’s work as a legislator and perhaps encourages such legislative endeavors to exceed simple part-time work? As can be seen above, Kleinschmidt’s website brazenly boasts, “we have been very active in the development of state regulations in Maine where one of Kleinschmidt’s engineers is a member of the Governor’s Ocean Energy Task Force.

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Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on March 16, 2012 at 12:48pm

would the BDN and Portland paper (Herald Press?) kindly publish this for the general public?

Comment by alice mckay barnett on May 3, 2011 at 8:48pm
copies of testimonies ?????
Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 29, 2011 at 12:07pm

another supper everyone.   Dixfield High School Friday May 20 3-7 pm.  If you can not come please share your brochures or things you feel important so we can have them on the tables.  We will know more about music tapes and computer visuals this time.  We want to have a good time and still get education.

Chicken Pot Pie,  Lazagna, pot lucks,   mmmm good

Comment by Monique Aniel Thurston on April 29, 2011 at 11:17am

Bravo Whetstone willy for  your visual enhancing of  the  foxes keeping  the  chicken coop !

It  is  now  day three after the  last  day of the hearings .

I have been  traveling and not been  able to summarize yet , but  I also want  to allow the  circus I witnessed  to settle  first in my mind.

The  hearings were difficult to endure, revealing, clear in terms of dynamics and  the  proof that  everything we  had  guessed  and  analyzed concerning the  collusion of  the  Baldacci administration and  the  wind industry absolutely correct.

Listening to the  wind turbines  sufferers is becoming more  and  more  difficult for me and  to witness the  apathy of our government more  and more appalling .

There is  a clear acceptance from the  government and the wind industry to sacrifice those individuals who are impacted by nearby turbines.  

 

As of this  day I  have NOT  received  any feed back  from the  Attorney General, nor Robert Nutting Speaker of the House nor the Ethics Commission on the  conflict of interest question.  Hard  copies  were  sent to the  AG and Ethic Commissison, with return  receipts which came  in my mailbox.

And yes the du Doux episode was unpleasant.  When a committee member does not raise his  eyes from his  computer while  people  testify, I find this  very  distateful and  with  a  painful  fractured wrist in a cast , my tolerance for  abuse  was  greatly diminished  so I asked him to pay attention to me.

I  was  also  enraged  to see my original  fears being confirmed  that the  language  of  Matt Peterson's  bill  LD 1035 was the work of the wind industry.   Jeremy Payne took credit for consulting with Matt on his bill, so  the  people  of  the River  Valley  ought  to be  very  aware  of this and  ask  him to explain himself about this.  His bill only buys time for the wind industry.   

Monique

        

Comment by Long Islander on April 29, 2011 at 9:59am

Responding to Brad Blake - this sort of rudeness on the part of our elected officials has been referenced before on this webiste. Please see: http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/legislature-not-here-no...

 

A couple of excerpts:

 

Some smart legislators, led by Representative Tom Saviello, attended the public hearing and submitted an amendment to the bill. The amendment proposed two urgent things for Maine citizens:

1. All wind projects need to get a public hearing. (The Legislature previously passed a law saying that wind projects in the expedited areas would no longer need hearings.)

2. Institute noise regulations which count reasonable levels of high and low frequency noise.

Sounds pretty simple, right?

Like requiring motorists to stop at red lights.

But no. At the PUBLIC HEARING, Senator Peter Bowman, after violently smacking his own palm with his fist, yelled: " This is not a question, but a statement... You will not respond to it because I don't want to hear you. You are abusing our process. The committee is interested in your noise issues and we understand that the issue in Vinalhaven is being taken care of, and we want to hear about this noise issue, but not here, and not now."

Not here. Not now.

Seriously

 

AND

 

Thurston went on, pleading with legislators to pass the bill so that people could be heard and so that turbines could not. Committee members Stacey Fitts and David Van Wee ridiculed those who dared to come to their state capitol to tell the truth. It was a shameful demonstration of how a government can be wholly owned and controlled by a corporate entity....in this case, an industry: Big Wind.

The back row was surely packed with the black suits from all of those firms on retainer for Big Wind. But not one of them got up to speak. What would they say??? "We are here at this public hearing to testify that the public should not be allowed to testify at public hearings."

"...We are here to testify that noise is only a problem if you live within a few miles of our turbines, so shame on you. You should have thought of that back in 1958 when you bought the place."

Nope. Not a peep from them. You can bet they sat there and smirked as the committee demeaned the good people of Citizen's Task Force -- people who spent all day waiting to give public testimony to a committee that does not want to hear it.

Comment by Brad Blake on April 28, 2011 at 11:16pm

The amazing lack of knowledge about wind and the electrical grid on the part of the committee was shocking.  So few questions to gain further understanding.  Yes, there was rude behavior, too.  Lots of smirks and side commenting and playing on their computers.  I read body language very well having been in one to one sales for 15 years.  Kudos to Monique Aniel for confronting young wind zealot Alex Cornell Du Houx for being rude to her, yet she was chastised by the Chair for speaking out.  I came very close to asking two legislators just what was so funny as they were looking at my before nad after photos of Lincoln and the destruction caused by this project.  They are photos you can see right on this website. 

Lastly, it was rude to keep the hearing in the small committee hearing room instead of arranging a large venue.  They knew these controversial bills would turn out crowds on both sides.  Having an overflow room just doesn't cut it.  My name was unexpectedly called on Monday while I was in the overflow room, which made me scramble through the crowd to get to the mic.  Having some paid worker who should have been out working at a job site taking a seat from a senior citizen is just wrong.  Just like paid lobbyist like Jeremy Payne and Dylan Voorhees staking their seats early and making sure nobody took them was rude while several 80 something citizens stood patiently and politely to exercise their citizen's rights. 

Comment by alice mckay barnett on April 28, 2011 at 1:43pm

Mr. Fitz was very rude to speakers at the state house Monday and Tuesday. I wonder if he knows it is all on visual as well as audio tape.

Ken Fletcher said he was going to talk to an ISO person this week and ask what really happens to wind when it hits the grid.

More lies?  Who really does know what happens to all our electrical rates because of wind?

Please stand up because our committee on Energy, Utilities and Technologies does not.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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