Was anybody listening??? The Utilities Committee was presented a golden opportunity on January 28. There was a bill before them that dealt with wind power permitting. It was a simple bill that made LURC and DEP proceedings more alike.
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.
We hear you, but we don't. This geezer got elected.
I just gotta say: every morning I grace a more admirable than Bowman part of my body with a good rub of toilet paper.
This man does not have enough apertures to stuff with nacelles and towers.
Steve Thurston, testifying eloquently in support of the prudent public health amendment, said "there are so many projects in the pipeline right now, all of them racing against the clock to grab up the subsidies, so there is a real urgency for you to act now, before all our ridgelines are covered with turbines and it's too late." He went on and asked, "if not here, where? And if not now, when?"
A befuddled committee, led by an unintelligible and dottering Senator Bowman, stared blanky back at Thurston.
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.
When your own representative government puts your interests below those of speculating, over-leveraged pillagers like First Wind....it is Tea Party time, Mainers.
Mad as hell, and not gonna take it any more.