Click on the link below, turn up your speakers and listen to Jim LaBrecque discuss the status of the Governor's Wind Commission.
I just listened quickly, so I'm sure I'm not capturing every key point I heard, but with that caveat, here are some highlights:
- The commission is doing its work and contrary to news reports, it has not "collapsed"
- When asked whether the commission will exist after Governor LePage is termed out, Mr. LaBrecque could only say for sure that the facts will exist, intimating that the commission's findings will be made known at some point
- Mr. LaBrecque said that when wind was fast tracked in Maine 10 years ago, there was a goal, but there were no clearly defined objectives
- Mr. LaBrecque noted the difference between Goals and Objectives. Using an example, the U.S. had a goal to put a man on the moon. But the objective was for the U.S. to be the most technologically advanced country in the world
- Mr. LaBrecque pointed out that it's easy at the front end of such endeavors to make soft promises such as lowering the incidence of asthma, preventing sea level rise, reducing electricity costs, etc.
- Now is the time (10 years have elapsed since the 2008 expedited wind law) to examine RESULTS
- Promises are one thing, but how do results compare to the promises? (I would add that beyond a comparison of results to promises, the world has changed since 2008 - how has this changed context affected the rationale and efficacy of the going in promises? HINT: Do today's projected power outages due to insufficient natural gas supply and wind's inability to fill those big shoes put 2008 "thinking" into new perspective?)
- The time has come for the rubber to meet the road, comparing results to promises - this is a big part of what the commission's work is all about
- What was said in 2008 about CO2, fossil fuel use, cost, transmission needs, transmission costs, numbers of mountains involved, density of wind tower deployments, impacts....?
- What is the present reality and how does it compare to all that was promised? (Hard accurate answers as opposed to soft promises)
- A large problem is that despite numerical goals as to wind electricity production, there has never been a comprehensive plan spelling out the details and what it would look like for our state if and when the goals were reached
- The wind industry doesn't want Mainers to know what it would look like - it thus works to their advantage not to have such a detailed plan out there including projections of cumulative impact
- The wind developers (who most definitely have plans and other preparations for specific projects on the drawing board years in advance) only announce a single project at a time. (This is an effective tactic because only those in the affected project area will focus on the newly announced project -- rather than Mainers as a whole being able to holistically embrace the cumulative effect of what is secretly planned for their state)
- There are 23 mountains affected now - how many are in the master plan that we are never shown?
- We are still moving forward and Mainers have never been shown the plan; opinions cannot be formed without knowing the plan. Where is the plan? Should we be blowing up more mountaintops without a plan?
- George Hale, one of the program's hosts asked why nobody from the wind industry was on the commission and Mr. LaBrecque responded that Governor Baldacci's commission that led to the 2008 wind law, not only had no plan, but had no members with opposing views. (See who they were here: http://www.windtaskforce.org/page/the-expedited-wind-law) Those with opposing views will have plenty of time to weigh in on the commission's fact-finding and we can then have a debate
Again, apologies for points I likely missed. I had to do this quickly.