This Must NOT Be the Future of the Appalachian Trail in Maine!





I was privileged over several years time when I was much younger to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail in Maine, from Carlo Col on the Maine/NH border to Baxter Peak on iconic Mt. Katahdin.  It was with great interest to me, now that health challenges keep me from climbing to these magnificent summits, to see the Maine Appalachian Trail Club was having a photo contest commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the completion of the AT in Maine.  Many photos brought back fond memories--I vividly remembered those vistas!  Then I came to this photo.  Posted by Alex Sherbrook, with the comment "Some of the realities of a changing landscape.."

This is the view from 3812 ft. Baldpate, East Peak.  Looking to the East across gorgeous Roxbury Pond, toward Mt. Blue.  These are the 459 ft. tall wind turbines of Angus King/Independence Wind's Record Hill project.  The project that produced only 22.57% capacity factor in the 2nd quarter of this year.  The project that King manipulated the Federal government into providing $102 million loan guarantee and with that miserable output, the taxpayers may indeed end up paying for it.

There is a real problem with people like Alex having such acceptance with a statement like "Some of the realities of a changing landscape.."  Alex, this is a scam.  Do NOT accept this as a reality.  Do NOT allow the landscape to be changed in this way.  Record Hill, Flathead Mt., and Partridge have been blasted, leveled, and scalped to put in turbines that are out of place in the Maine mountains.  See the photos of Record Hill Wind at this link:

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Audubon, Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the Maine Nature Conservancy chapter are the lead environmental groups that should be opposed to destroying Maine's mountains for the folly of wind.  But several accept donations from wind developers and their cronies.  Example:  on Maine Audubon's website, they list First Wind as an "Eagle" donor!  NRCM has their "Clean Energy" project that promotes wind power, testifying on behalf of the industry. 

But what about the two organizations that promote and provide stewardship to the Appalachian Trail?  Should they not be protecting the grand vistas and subtler views from our uniquely beautiful mountains from the blight of wind power sites?  Do people who hike long distances through the forests to earn those views deserve views of wind turbines instead?  Do they not realize that the line of turbines seen in this photo could some day be lining every ridge parallel to the AT from NH to Katahdin?  Do they kowtow to the political correctness of "being green" to passively accept wind turbines rather than staking out boldly their self interest in preserving the integrity of the AT experience through Maine?

To it's credit, MATC opposed the Highlands Wind project and the ill-conceived Redington-Black Nubble project.  If you hunt enough on their website, you will find their policy statement regarding wind.  Link:  Carefully crafted to not oppose wind power development, "MATC recognizes the need to develop wind power as a renewable energy source" but to advocate "Careful siting of wind energy facilities."  There was some thought put into this document, but it doesn't go far enough.  It hasn't stopped Record Hill or Spruce Mt projects, which are clearly viewed from the AT.  MATC is not actively opposing wind project proposals for places like Bingham and Moscow and not being proactive to oppose projects that may be built within a scant few miles of the borders of Baxter Park.  Nor does the MATC fight for other threatened areas like Tumbledown or Mt. Blue.  The organization was nowhere to be found when bills were presented to the Legislature to amend the heinous "Wind Law", LD 2283.  To me, MATC needs to educate and energize its membership regarding the single biggest threat to the AT in Maine.  They need to boldly state that no wind turbines are acceptable within an AT vista.

Regarding the AMC, here is a quote from their energy policy "human actions are accelerating the rate of climate change, and this change poses a serious risk to society and the region's ecosystems. AMC recognizes that wind power and other renewable energy sources must have a substantive role in reducing greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions in our region."   They are more about climate change and promoting wind power than protecting the incredible resource.  Shame on them!

If you know someone who is a member of MATC or AMC, get them the facts about the wind power scam and fire them up to advocate within those organizations for strong opposition to the proliferation of industrial wind turbines in Maine.


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Comment by Brad Blake on August 24, 2012 at 9:56pm

We citizens don't have a lot of resources to put into battling the well funded wind power developers.  If we did, imagine the dialogue that would be going on if we had truth tellers at every major trail head distributing information regarding the real impact of sprawling industrial wind sites and de-bunking the myths of wind power.  Everyone who loves to hike, who thrills at the magnificent vistas from Maine's mountains, who understands the intricacies of upland ecosystems should vigorously object to blasting away Maine's mountains for ugly, out of scale and out of place wind turbines.

Wind turbines do NOTHING to curb air pollution or mitigate climate change.  They are a waste of taxpayers money and will eventurally cost ratepayers dearly.  Wind power is simply not the solution to these concerns.  Hikers and people who care about Maine's mountains need to stop the onslaught of industrial wind turbines and work towards better solutions. 

Comment by Barry @ SaveOurSeaShore on August 23, 2012 at 4:57pm


Are you kidding me? That is awful. 

Comment by Long Islander on August 22, 2012 at 12:41pm

James - whether one believes in global warming or simply regards CO2 as mere plant food, wind "farms" make almost no dent in emissions. There are several studies that show this. These are of course all vigorously discredited by the wind industry and their paid off shills.


But there is one set of data that the likes of Angus King and the wind cheerleaders like NRCM cannot argue with - because NRCM is the source of the figures. NRCM used these figures for the purpose of dimensionalizing how much CO2 wind "farms" avoid. Yet in doing so they have unwittingly handed over to us information which when put in proper perspective demonstrates that the 360 miles of ridgeline destruction they envision for Maine via wind turbines will have an effect on global warming/cooling equal to that produced by a mere 1% of the Maine woods. In other words, the wholesale transmogrification of Maine's core essence, its natural beauty and tranquility, is being done in exchange for virtually nothing. 

Our analysis of NRCM's CO2 figures and this most lopsided ill conceived tradeoff may be read here:


Comment by Jim Lutz on August 21, 2012 at 8:33pm

I was recently chastised by several of my liberal friends about the fact that I was making the renewable energy push in the State of Maine, political.  It’s not political?  Please!!!!  Our government, both State and Federal, is on the verge of bankruptcy and they continue to make huge contributions to alternative energy in spite of massive failures and waste.  They have supported companies like Solyndra, Abound and close to 300 more that have all failed to produce jobs, let alone products that can be marketed.  There is not one shining light among them that is close to being solvent . . . NOT ONE!  And they have sucked down more than $10 Billion, that’s right BILLION, in taxpayer dollars.  A lot of these have been solar companies, but if you think it is any better in the wind industry, think again. 


Probably the biggest and most well known wind investor is T. Boone Pickens.  In 2006 and 2007 he announced plans to build a huge wind farm in West Texas, and began trying to implement it into the grid.  T. Boone was ready to spend $170 million of his own dollars.  Texas had to pass a $4.5 billion upgrade to go on the backs of ratepayers and did.  (Sound familiar?)  He ordered the first 660 turbines, but after two years of haggling and trying to find investors, he abandoned the project altogether.  NO ONE could see the possibility of profit in the project, and the power produced would be three or four times the cost of gas, coal, oil or hydro power.  They couldn’t sell it. 


Enter the Obama Administration and taxpayer money.  This administration has invested us in projects that are just plain BAD economics.  They are making it harder for middle class people and small businesses to buy energy at reasonable prices, and it is only going to get worse.  Throwing money we don’t have at businesses that can’t make profits without the subsidies is just plain stupid.  Or maybe it is the plan.  We have to be SMART, not ideological toward our goal of cheap, reliable long term energy.  Hydro would fall into that SMART category, but we have been told that is not a renewable source.  WHAT????  Our dams have been producing energy 24/7/365 for more than 100 years.  But now they are being dismantled, another ridiculous move by the environmentalists.  Hydro is one of the easiest to manage, reliable and cheapest to produce. 


Angus King has had his hands out, too.  After making law while he was Governor that Maine would be at a 30% renewable level by 2016, he left Blair House and promptly put together a group to initiate wind farms in Maine.  He ignored the hydro and called it not renewable.  He sold a bill of goods to the new Governor, Baldacci, and the Democratic House and Senate.  They passed it without even a debate.  And so the desecration and destruction of our wilderness mountaintops began. 


This is just bad business, and is bad for the scenic beauty of our state.  We have had rate increases due to the grid upgrade, and have recently been told that these upgrades, $1.4 BILLION, will need to be further upgraded to the tune of $19 to $27 BILLION.  That’s right.  I said BILLION.  What will our electric bills look like if these monstrosities continue to be built?  And what will our mountains look like with another 2,000 of these 450 foot towers lined up every half a mile?  That would be over 900 miles of mountaintops clear cut and blasted away to make way for roads and huge concrete pads to bolt these things down to.  CO2 sequestration is the reason they say we need the wind, but what about the trees that sequester CO2 that are cut down?  What about the hundreds of pieces of heavy equipment to build the roads and the towers?  And what about the fact that wind turbines only produce 20 – 25% of their rated power, and it skitters.  These are all facts that are being reviewed by our current Governor, and he has promised to slow the fast track for wind.  It is also going to be the policy of the challenger to Obama and his administration. 


So if you don’t think there is politics involved in these decisions, keep your head in the sand.  We really do have a choice, a serious choice, to make this November.  We have seen how our freedoms have been curtailed and programs have been shoved down our throats without our approval.  We, the landowners and abutters, should have the say as to what is done with our property and our towns.  There have been hundreds of new agencies formed in the last four years, and they are becoming more and more intransigent in meeting our requests and needs.  They say things like, “It is for the greater good” and they think they know best what to do for us.  It’s time we take back making our own decisions and shrink this ballooning bureaucracy.  Politics does matter.      

Comment by freemont tibbetts on August 21, 2012 at 4:27pm

 Penny, Waking up is slow! The Wind Warriors in Maine had to wake up the - Town Government,- State Government,- Federal Government - and the Citizens in The Great State of Maine. Wind Farm"s in Maine is the biggest scam that ever hit this state any way you look at it. Penny I do believe in my old heart the people will wake up in time to stop it with the vote come November.                                  

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on August 21, 2012 at 12:01pm

Penny: How can they live with themselves spreading such lies that they know will kill the beautiful spread of the eagle's wings??

Comment by Penny Gray on August 21, 2012 at 8:23am

Brad, I use to whole heartedly support all the environmental groups you mention in your post.  So did the Harraseeket Inn, to the tune of many thousands of dollars.  No longer!  Waking up was very painful but if we're to save this grand state of Maine, we must wake more people up very quickly.  Surely there are some real environmentalists that can't be bought off.

Maine Audubon lists First Wind as an "Eagle" donor?  This truly makes me sick at heart.

Comment by John Gates on August 20, 2012 at 10:55pm

Hiked to the top of Rumford Whitecap in May. It was a beautiful hike and then we got over a rise and saw the Record Hill turbines and it was pretty shocking. Talk about out of place, out of scale. We saw two very large raptors soaring. They definitely weren't turkey vultures, so they were probably eagles. It was very windy on the Record Hill side of the summit and the turbines were spinning away. You couldn't help but wonder how many of these large birds would fly into the blades one day. The summit view also showed very clearly the proximity to all the camps on Roxbury Pond, and you just knew how these out of scale monsters were wrecking these camp owners' paradise.

What's hard to fathom is the size of these things. I believe they were about 5-6 miles away from where the picture was taken. We counted 22 of them. If each is 400' or so high, if they stood on top of each other they'd rise 8,800' high or about 1.7 miles.

What are we doing to this beautiful state and for what?

What is the cost/benefit equation?

Comment by Jim Lutz on August 20, 2012 at 10:54pm

FACT:  The world climate has actually COOLED over the last ten years!!!  And they ignore the fact. 

Comment by Mike DiCenso on August 20, 2012 at 10:48pm

Good job Brad. The windsprawl is horrendous even IF they did make any amount of power. Not worth the impact.

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."


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


(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 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?" 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.”

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