MPBN: Do you approve of the state's current wind power policy? And, would you like to see the approval process either speeded up or perhaps slowed down to take account of complaints?
MITCHELL: Again, wind power is also balancing. You're trying to create clean energy. We're also protecting the things, the quality of life that is Maine. So, where most of the problems have come is the siting of the windmills. There has been -- the Legislature passed an expedited permitting process which, in itself, has caused anxiety among those who are trying to get wind up. But I don't mind public input. I do not mind people being able to raise their voices up in concern. What has happened on Vinalhaven, however, they are fully sufficient and are energy independent with their own wind turbines. There are a few people out there who don't like it, but I think 99 percent of the people do. They like the savings; they like the clean-ness; they like being independent. So I think Maine people, as a whole, would like that. And we know that in European countries, and other states, that this wind power is being developed in a way that's compatible. You can see wind turbines with cows grazing beside them. It might be a way to keep farmland open. But that's not always where the wind is. I understand that. The biggest problem for us is the mountains, making sure that we're putting them in a suitable place. Stetson wind farm I did visit and found that they were extraordinarily concerned about placement, that when power lines went above tree level, they went underground. They worked with abutters and, actually, the wind turbines there are graceful and they're producing energy in a way that appears to be compatible with the environment.
MPBN: Do you approve of the state's current wind power policy, and if not why not, and if so why?
LEPAGE: Well, I haven't seen, I'll admit, I have not seen the numbers on it. I know that they're promoting it, but I don't know what the economic numbers are. The numbers that I have seen, which says that they would increase the cost of energy to Maine people, I would be dead against that. I don't believe that Maine can stand to pay more for its energy, for its electricity. I would favor, as I said earlier, the only energies that I will favor is the energy that will reduce the cost of residential and commercial electricity in the state of Maine.
MPBN: Okay, let’s talk about wind for a moment. Do you approve of the state’s current wind power policy?
CUTLER: Yeah, I think it’s generally correct. I don’t have any significant policy differences.
MPBN: Do you approve of the state’s current wind power policy? If not, why, or if you do, why? Should the approval process be slowed down, or made easier?
MOODY: Well, I think the jury’s still out on that. I’m a pilot, been a pilot since the mid-nineties, and I’ve flown over the Mars Hill project, and I’ll be honest with you, from the air it’s like, wow, I can see why people up in that area that -- that encroaches on their vista -- would be upset, I certainly can understand. So I think the environmental impact, the aesthetic impact of those windmills is yet to be determined. I think there’s a real need, I think the vast majority of Mainers are in favor of wind power, either on- or offshore, so it’s going to be interesting to see. My personal opinion is, wind power is a viable alternative energy source, and federal dollars are flowing and we need to capitalize on that right now.
MPBN: And I’m sure you know, under the Baldacci administration, the siting process and the permitting process for wind power was expedited. Is that something you favor, or not?
MOODY: Well, I do. I think that too often – I don’t want to be a hypocrite, because I’m the person that’s saying the regulatory agencies and the environment itself slows down private enterprise from going forward, so I think this is a good example where state government tried to expedite to get the wind to market while the dollars and the funds were available, and now we’re seeing a natural democratic process emerge where residents that are being impacted, they have a voice, and this is America, they have the right to stand up for what they believe, and this will get worked out.
MPBN: Do you approve of the state’s current wind power policy, and if not why? And should the approval process be slowed down, or made easier?
SCOTT: Well, I don’t have a very good feeling for wind energy in unregulated territories, unorganized. I think that allowing LURC, Land Use Regulatory Commission, to oversee that massive, massive area of the state of Maine, and out-of-state or out-of-country private enterprise benefit and profit from Maine’s wind without the benefit to the Maine people – I don’t want to speak against wind, it has a place, but I’ll tell you, if you’re going to put eight or 12 or 22 windmills on one of our beautiful western mountain ridges, where I grew up, if you’re selling me that energy at two kilowatt cents an hour, and the Ethan Allen plant can buy that energy and not go out of business, then I’m going to say wow, that makes a lot of sense. But if you’re going to put wind energy with the policy we have now and rush these expedited windmill permits and what not and then tell me my energy costs are going up? I can’t support that. But I will support a rational, commonsense policy.
Look, Maine can generate its own power, and we’re exporting it. What about adding wind illustrates to you anything different than the same-old, same-old? Again, gas tax, how many hours we work, outsourcing state buildings, they’re all ideas that need to be looked at from, well, how did we get there, and what can we do better, before we go to this Draconian or extreme measure. And I feel that way about wind, I really do.