An Order Establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission

Hopefully other areas will come under this beginning with Katahdin.

An Order Establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission

January 24, 2018

2018-002

WHEREAS, Tourism is a major industry in the State of Maine, attracting over 35 million visitors in 2016 who spent nearly $6 billion; and

WHEREAS, the scenic vistas and pristine waters of Western Maine, our coast and coastal islands, and our significant avian migratory pathways (the Areas) attract significant tourism to the State; and

WHEREAS, the visitors to the Areas in Maine are known to come to enjoy outdoor and nature oriented activities; and

WHEREAS, noise and vibration caused by wind turbines are well known effects of the turbines; and

WHEREAS, the sight of wind turbines can affect property values; and

WHEREAS, wildlife will be affected by the wind turbines; and

WHEREAS, the future estimated decommissioning costs of wind turbines are uncertain; and

WHEREAS, any decision regarding siting wind turbines in the Areas will have long term consequences to the tourism industry; and,

WHEREAS, the benefit from wind turbines are therefore uncertain.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, do hereby establish the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission (“the Commission”) for the purposes of (1) Studying the economic impact of potential Wind turbines in the Areas, (2) Assessing the economic impact of expedited wind rules and procedures, (3) Assessing and developing recommendations in a written report. I order that no permits related to wind turbines are issued in the Areas until the report is issued in writing. I also order that Pursuant to Title 1, section 402, subsection 2, paragraph F, the meetings of this Review Panel are not “public proceedings” subject to Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.

The Commission

The Commission shall be comprised of no less than 11 and no more than 15 representatives from state agencies and other entities that have substantial responsibilities and/or interests in the siting of wind turbines in Western Maine, including:

  • The Director of the Governor’s Energy Office or Designee(s) from the Governor’s Energy Office, which shall serve as the lead agency for the proceedings and activities of the Commission.
  • The Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development or Designee(s) from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
  • The Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection or Designee(s) from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
  • A representative from the Public Utilities Commission.
  • Other public and private sector entities and individuals, including members of the Maine Legislature, municipal officers, advocacy organizations and businesses, per appointment by the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Duties of the Commission

The Commission Shall:

  • Act as the State’s official review and advisory body for the assessment of economic impact likely to occur by siting wind turbines in the Areas.
  • Assess the economic impact of wind power to Maine’s electricity rate structure.
  • Conduct its work in a manner that will maximize interagency coordination.
  • Monitor compliance with federal and state environmental laws.
  • Consider the economic impact of previously sited wind turbines in Maine.
  • Develop and propose policies regulating the future deployment and operation of wind turbines in the Areas.
  • Act as the State’s distributor of official public information, and for development of educational resources, related to wind turbines in the Areas.
  • Provide comment on federal policies and reports about wind turbine deployment and operation, as needed.
  • Establish goals and time frames for the Commission’s work.

Recommendations of the Commission will be formalized upon the approval of an Executive Committee comprised of the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and the Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, in consultation with other officials as appropriate to the proposed project.

The Commission shall deliver a report summarizing its recommendations to the Governor when finished.

I direct that the agencies involved undertake this work within their existing resources and budgets.

The Effective date of the Executive Order is January 24, 2018.

Paul R. LePage
Governor

Related Documents

An Order Establishing the Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission

Download the order here: 2018-002%20Maine%20Wind%20Energy%20Advisory%20Commission%20-%20Copy...

http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/index.php?topic=Gov_Executive_O...

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Comment by Deborah Andrew on January 25, 2018 at 1:15pm

The problem: the public is not directly involved.  This sort of effort is best undertaken by individual towns, or groups of towns at the most.  Service on such an ad hoc committee must be open to all who are interested, regardless of current thinking regarding industrial wind turbines.  The charge to such a committee must be clear: the committee charged with research (from reliable, arms-length sources) upon which they will eventually write an opinion with recommendations.  Opposing opinions included.  All research upon which opinions and recommendations are based to be listed in the final report and made available to the public (along with the report) at town halls, local libraries, on line.  I have an example of such a report from Renneselaerville, NY some years back, and could send via email.

Comment by arthur qwenk on January 24, 2018 at 6:50pm

Halaluyah Jesus!!!!

We the People exist!!

This was a long time in coming, but we all will run with it!

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on January 24, 2018 at 6:48pm

I would have preferred a comprehensive environmental impact assessment that included transmission ROW's and the carbon effect of the clearcuts.

On the other hand, we could use a celebratory moment after years of plugging away.  


Hydropower is back on the agenda.

Comment by Dan McKay on January 24, 2018 at 5:35pm

To be sure, Western Maine is under assault by wind development. Partly, because it is the shortest avenue for transmission to Southern Maine energy arteries and partly because the 2007 Wind Energy Advisory Committee placed most of it in the expedited wind siting area because the area was thought to be remote, sparsely inhabited, economically depressed and basically apathetic to the value of vistas.
Believe me, there is immense feelings of being dumped upon by past and current legislature and overseeing agencies for allowing such travesties to take place. See the transcripts of the DEP public meeting held in Dixfield prior to installation of the Saddleback Ridge Wind Project and the meeting notes for Canton. The fierce stand of the citizens of Byron as they ejected Angus King from town during the very first meeting that would have included them within the Record Hill Wind Project. The magnificent work and prophetic warnings of several Roxbury residents fighting one of the first and enormously funded, deceitfully presented and sinister conceived projects thrust upon Western Maine . And then there is Woodstock which was blindsided and forced to succumb to the wanton greed of town officials. With lesson learned in hand, the citizens of Woodstock would enact an ordinance to not get snookered twice. I have to mention Milton Plantation that fought like hell to get out of the expedited siting only to be rejected by a LUPC committee cowered by fancy lawyering.
There is plenty more to this story, towns split apart, towns scurrying to enact ordinances, forgotten souls trying to be explain the noise they hear and the vibrations they feel, but to no avail.
The Governor is right to look to Western Maine for the real story about wind developments. To the legislators in Augusta : Continue to ignore us at your own peril.

Comment by Paula D Kelso on January 24, 2018 at 3:44pm

Well golly gee, what's good for the goose is good for the gander. Guess I'm feeling vindictive. The BDN and PPH comments are precious. How dare a governor do such a high handed thing!= Guess Lepage watched and learned. That's more than most Mainers did. Loved the comment that mountains don't get blasted, they just scrape off the top soil dont you know and for God's sake do t you know that trees grow back! What a bunch of airheads.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 24, 2018 at 3:06pm

"I also order that Pursuant to Title 1, section 402, subsection 2, paragraph F, the meetings of this Review Panel are not "public proceedings" subject to Maine's Freedom of Access Act."

Sounds like this could become Back-Room dealings! With certain Areas Protected, others Not.

Comment by Long Islander on January 24, 2018 at 3:06pm

Gov Baldacci's Task Force on Wind Power Development

http://www.windtaskforce.org/page/the-expedited-wind-law

Comment by Paula D Kelso on January 24, 2018 at 2:51pm

Wow, this sounds good except no public access?

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 24, 2018 at 2:18pm

I wonder if anything of value can come of this without a Comprehensive State Energy Plan.

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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