NEW: Governor's bill LD 1810 would gut streamlined permitting process for most wind power projects

The bill would also significantly expand – from eight miles to 40 miles – the area around turbines that could be subject to visual impact studies. That could raise the regulatory hurdle for projects that are still within expedited permitting areas.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/01/29/lepage-bill-would-gut-stream...

Presented by Representative STETKIS of Canaan. (GOVERNOR'S BILL)
Cosponsored by Senator DAVIS of Piscataquis and Representatives: GRIGNON of Athens,
HANLEY of Pittston, HARLOW of Portland, STEARNS of Guilford, WADSWORTH of
Hiram, WINSOR of Norway.

The bill can be accessed at:

http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?PID=0&am...

It can also be downloaded here in Word at

HP125501%20-%20Copy.docx

and in PDF at

Maine%20128%20-%20HP%201255%20item%201%20-%20Copy.pdf

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Comment by Art Brigades on January 31, 2018 at 10:41pm

http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280067686&....  Today on a STRAIGHT party line vote (this shouldn't be partisan) the House voted to kill the bill ON REFERENCE TO COMMITTEE.  It is virtually unprecedented to deny a legislator his "day in court" (public hearing at committee)when he introduces a bill.  What is WRONG with Sarah Gideon????

Comment by Long Islander on January 30, 2018 at 1:23pm
As a tiny, tiny example of the wind industry's secrecy, please read the following excerpt from the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting's coverage of Governor Baldacci's wind task force. Specifically, see Part 3 about "the map". This three part series was not carried by the Press Herald.
Excerpt from Part 3 on the Expedited Area Map
After proposing major changes to state law that would speed up the review of wind power projects, Gov. John Baldacci’s wind power task force members went one step further: They made a map.
Without the map, the law would just be a set of rules. The map was essential because it showed where wind turbines could go to get fast-track consideration.
The map designated all the organized towns and about a third of the unorganized
territory as the state’s “expedited wind zone” where that speedy consideration of projects would take place. The task force also proposed to allow the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) to expand the areas if applicants met certain standards.
How that map got drawn is not clear from the official record of the task force’s meetings. That’s because summaries for the last two meetings don’t exist, says task force chair Alec Giffen’s secretary, Rondi Doiron.
“Everyone was working straight out on getting the report done and no one had time to get the summaries done,” Doiron wrote in an email to the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting.
But Giffen and others freely describe the map’s genesis: First, Giffen consulted with the developers’ representatives one-by-one, as they were loathe to share proprietary information with competitors.
Then he went to the environmental groups and asked what areas they wanted to protect. Then he came up with a proposed map designating expedited wind development areas.
“I integrated, based on what I knew about what areas were important for what kinds of uses,” said Giffen, “presented it to the task force and got concurrence that the way in which it was outlined made sense.”
Others describe the map-drawing process as a last-minute rush to get the task force’s report done in time for legislators to consider as they neared the end of a short session.
“There was a lot of ‘Here, here, here and here’ and ‘No, no, no and no,” during the map debate, said task force member Rep. Stacey Fitts, R-Pittsfield. “It changed several times.” Maine Audubon’s Jody Jones described the process as “I want this in, I want this out.” Whatever the process looked and sounded like is lost to the public record because no minutes were taken or recorded.
And that, says Sun Journal managing editor Judy Meyer, who’s also vice president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition, is “shocking.”
Maine law doesn’t require groups like the governor’s wind task force to memorialize deliberations, says Meyer.
Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 30, 2018 at 12:24pm

Also to download the ISO-NE grid map

Maine's Energy Production Locations

Edit the Layers/Legends to eliminate unwanted items -- Zoom In to locate facilities/utilities (Wind, Biomass, Oil, Gas) click on the identifier for more detail information about each

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 30, 2018 at 12:07pm
Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on January 30, 2018 at 11:51am

So Maine was carved up by the wind farm developers; this is the kind of thing you seen in films on corrupt big government. I'm sending this to my contact at the Washington Post. 

Comment by Gary Campbell on January 30, 2018 at 11:46am

To see how the boundaries of the Expedited Wind Permitting Area were decided, go to www.ppdlw.org/documents/giffen-memo.pdf

In a nutshell, Alec Giffen, head of Baldacci's Wind Task Force, met individually and privately with the wind developers UPC (First Wind), Independence Wind (Angus King & Rob Gardiner), Transcanada and others. A map of Maine was laid on the table and each developer identified those areas they wanted to have expedited. Each developer agreed to keep what was said at the meeting confidential. Then Giffen consolidated all the areas into a single map which each developer was shown. Upon agreeing to the overall boundaries, each developer was required to sign an agreement to support the map both publicly and privately and resist any effort to change the boundaries by the legislature.

Note that many of those involved with the original Wind Task Force, which frequently conducted its business behind closed doors, are now crying foul that Gov. LePage wants his emergency legislation not to be subject to Maine's Freedom of Access Act.

By the way, when PPDLW tried to include that memo in its testimony for the 2nd Bowers application, our request was denied. We had hoped to show how arbitrarily the boundaries were drawn, with no regard for scenic impact, nearby affected resources, population centers, etc.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 30, 2018 at 10:18am

I believe the Expedited Areas are any found (by the industry) to be best suitable wind areas that may qualify for Wind Production, prior to any real set of Rules or Statutes were enacted. Though a supposed firm set of Rules are being created and some may end up in a statute, (if not modified on a per need basis) is in process. These would most likely govern the entire state for all communities and UT's.  The exclusions came by community requests that filed. UT's that had a sufficient population, the same. 

Maybe Chris O'Neil could better provide you with better information that is more accurate.

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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