JUST STARTED (10:20AM) TUNE IN NOW: Public Hearing on Gov LePage's Wind Bill LD 1810

Scheduled for 10:00 AM Friday morning - March 16, 2018.

To tune in:

1. Go to http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EUT

2. Make sure your speakers are on

3. Click on the speaker icon to start the audio

4. If the meeting is not yet in session, there will be no sound, so please be patient

5. The order of topics can change so please check back here for possible updates - if the order changes and I hear anything, I will try to post

6. Please note that the same bill is also scheduled to be discussed during a work session this afternoon:

http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EUT

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POSTPONED: Tomorrow's L.D. 1810 public hearing postponed until Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10AM

The public hearing for LD 1810,  An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development scheduled for tomorrow at 10AM will be postponed until Friday, March 16, 2018 at 10AM.  For now, the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology will still be meeting at 12PM tomorrow to address the rest of the schedule. The chairs are waiting until the morning to decide if there is a need to also reschedule the rest of the committee work scheduled for tomorrow. We will send out notice as soon as a decision is made. The updated schedule is attached.

 

Deirdre Schneider

Legislative Analyst

Office of Policy and Legal Analysis

(207) 287-1670    

deirdre.schneider@legislature.maine.gov

http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EUT

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Earlier Update on Tue, 3/13/18

Gov LePage's Wind Bill PUBLIC HEARING Reminder: Tomorrow 10:00 AM L.D. 1810

As updated yesterday, tomorrow's public hearing has been moved from 9:00AM to 10:00AM.

Please attend and please testify.

Also, please contact the committee members TODAY and tell them the Wind Law should be repealed entirely.   

EUT Members' Contact Information as of 3/8/18

Download in Excel including mailing addresses at: EUT_Members_3-8-18.xlsx

Also at:

http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EUT

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UPDATE: Apparently now moved to 10am "for about two hours".

Wed Mar 14 10AM

JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON ENERGY, UTILITIES AND TECHNOLOGY

           Sen. David Woodsome, Senate Chair

          Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair

 

          PUBLIC HEARING:         Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 9:00 AM, Cross Building, Room 211

 

(L.D. 1810)          Bill "An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development" (HP1255) (EMERGENCY) (Presented by Representative STETKIS of Canaan) (Cosponsored by Senator DAVIS of Piscataquis, Representative GRIGNON of Athens, Representative HANLEY of Pittston, Representative STEARNS of Guilford, Representative HARLOW of Portland, Representative WADSWORTH of Hiram, Representative WINSOR of Norway)

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WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Energy, Utilities and Technology

Week of 3/12/2018 - 3/16/2018

 

Monday:  3/12/2018

 

No Meetings

Tuesday: 3/13/2018

House/Senate 10:00AM

 

 1:00 PM      REPORTS REVIEW

§     Review of policies and procedures and reports submitted by the Efficiency Maine Trust, the ConnectME Authority and the Maine Municipal and Rural Electrification Cooperative Agency in accordance with 5 MRSA § 12023(2) as required by 5 MRSA § 12023(3)

 

 1:30 PM      WORK SESSION

 L.D. 131      An Act To Protect the Biomass Industry

 L.D. 260      An Act To Create the Maine Energy Office

 L.D. 1848    An Act To Extend Arrearage Management Programs

 

Wednesday: 3/14/2018

 

 9:00 AM      PUBLIC HEARING

 L.D. 1810    An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development

 

 12:00 PM    WORK SESSION

 L.D. 257      An Act To Enable Municipalities Working with Utilities To Establish Microgrids

 L.D. 1487    An Act To Control Electricity Transmission Costs through the Development of Nontransmission Alternatives

 L.D. 1610    An Act To Protect Privacy of Online Customer Personal Information

 

Thursday: 3/15/2018

House/Senate 10:00AM

 

 1:00 PM      COMMITTEE DISCUSSION

 

§  Utility Response to October Windstorm

 

 2:00 PM      WORK SESSION

 L.D. 1729    An Act Regarding Compensation by Large Transmission and Distribution Utilities

 L.D. 1810    An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development

 L.D. 1799    Resolve, Regarding Legislative Review of Portions of Chapter 308: Standards of Conduct for Transmission and Distribution Utilities and Affiliated Generators, a Major Substantive Rule of the Public Utilities Commission

 L.D. 1224    An Act To Allow for Greater Energy Competition in Maine by Amending the Law Governing Electric Generation or Generation-related Assets by Affiliates

 

 

Friday: 3/16/2018

No Meetings

 

Views: 455

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Comment by Art Brigades on March 13, 2018 at 12:55pm

In floor debate, when the bill was in danger of being killed because of disagreement over which committee would get the bill, Representative Ken Fredette said to his colleagues:  "This bill is vastly important to thousands of people in rural Maine, and they deserve to have a public hearing."  

So hey rural Maine... let's return the favor...please contact the committee members TODAY and tell them the Wind Law should be repealed entirely.   http://legislature.maine.gov/committee/#Committees/EUT  

Comment by Brad Blake on March 13, 2018 at 12:43pm

The hearing for Wednesday, March 14 is now re-scheduled for 11 am due to the snowstorm

Comment by Art Brigades on March 10, 2018 at 2:18pm

I don't think the EA would be irrelevant after the rule is adopted.  But yes, the proposed rule will be a help.  Scenic impact -- specifically the statutory presumption that scenic impact within the EA is "insignificant" beyond 8 miles, and not to be considered in permitting -- is a big part of the WEA's heinousness.  The rule language you cite is congruous with the WEA at Sec. 3452.2 that gives DEP discretion to use the old "fits harmoniously into the landscape" standard that was scrapped exclusively for wind factories under the WEA. Use that discretion along with the new treatment of scenic impact that was enacted a couple of years ago (cumulative, combined, sequential, successive impact) and opponents might have a fighting chance moving forward. Neither this bill nor the proposed rule should change that, other than shrinking the EA to Aroostook, AND calling for a Visual Impact Assessment out to 40 miles instead of 8.  But VIAs have been performed routinely on every project application anyway.

Comment by Dan McKay on March 10, 2018 at 9:46am
The DEP has proposed a change in the evaluation of impacts to scenic character from wind developments.
The Expedited Areas defined in the WEA  become irrelevant with this rule change.
Strike all of Maine from the Wind Expedited Areas .
 
Proposed DEP rule :

"Review of scenic impacts of associated facilities. Impacts to scenic character from a wind energy development’s associated facilities are generally evaluated in the manner set forth in the WEA, 35-A M.R.S. §3452 (1) & (3). However, if the Department determines that application of the WEA evaluation criteria to the development may result in unreasonable adverse effects due to the scope, scale, location or other characteristics of the associated facilities, scenic impacts of the development’s associated facilities will be evaluated solely under the standards of the Site Location of Development Act, 38 M.R.S. §484(3) or other applicable standards in the manner provided for evaluation of scenic impacts from development other than wind energy "

Comment by Dan McKay on March 9, 2018 at 7:12pm

  It will be interesting to find out who among the committee has the fortitude to advance this bill to the House and Senate for vote.

  There are a great many people who would like to know whom among the public servants feel their peace and quality of place is more important than junk energy
Comment by Dan McKay on March 9, 2018 at 7:06pm

Whereas, the laws governing expedited permitting for wind energy development do  not adequately restrict wind energy development from areas where it is inappropriate; and 


 Whereas, the Legislature anticipates an increase in the number of wind energy development proposals in the future; and 
 Whereas, the changes made by this legislation need to take effect as soon as  possible to avoid allowing development to proceed in areas where its impacts would be untenably harmful; 
Comment by Dan McKay on March 9, 2018 at 4:52pm
This bill is self explanatory and simple and doesn't even need committee review. A vote in chambers would suffice and reveal how our lawmakers feel about the rural citizens of Maine. 
This bill is, of course, a declaration from rural Maine to an immoral law that singled out the elimination of property rights by geography.
Pitting an overwhelming population of folks residing in wind safe harbors of the big cities to squelch the voices of the less populated rural inhabitants is inexcusable behavior from public servants.
Comment by Dan McKay on March 9, 2018 at 3:06pm

Email your testimony in support of this bill to :   Abben.Maguire@legislature.maine.gov

This bill is complementary to the Governor's Executive Order for Commission Study.

 

Comment by Long Islander on March 9, 2018 at 2:18pm

EUT Members' Contact Information as of 3/8/18

Download in Excel including mailing addresses at: EUT_Members_3-8-18.xlsx

Chairs: Berry and Woodsome

Abben Maguire - Committee Clerk
Phone: 287-4143, e-mail: Abben.Maguire@Legislature.Maine.gov
 Michael Russo - OFPR Analyst
Office of Fiscal and Program Review
5 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: 287-1635, e-mail: Michael.Russo@Legislature.Maine.gov
 Deirdre Schneider - OPLA Analyst
Office of Policy and Legal Analysis
13 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Phone: 287-1670, e-mail: Deirdre.Schneider@legislature.maine.gov
Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on March 9, 2018 at 2:08pm

Posted on My FB Acct.

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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Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

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