After last month's public hearing, the original LD 1810, introduced by Governor Paul LePage thanks to Representative Joel Stetkis, was drastically overhauled in committee. Unfortunately, the House didn't even debate the minority report; they just voted to kill the bill outright.
This minority report of the committee simply would have given the DEP a little bit more opportunity to request a Visual Impact Assessment (VIA) when a wind project is proposed close to a Scenic Resource of State of National Significance.
A VIA is merely a test, a report commissioned by an independent consultant to help the DEP judge whether a project would have a high level of scenic impact on the special landmark.
According to DEP, every project in Maine has submitted a VIA as part of its application.
But today the Wind Lobby locked arms and did what they do: kill any changes to the Wind Act because it is so crucial to the Maine economy and environment. The disinformation and ignorance on display in the House "debate" today was shameful.
The bill goes to the Senate for another vote, where the minority report could pass. But even if it passes, unless the House reverses today's 36 vote margin of victory, the bill will die in non-concurrence between House & Senate.
Here is today's House roll call: