On December 28, 2010, Rob Gardiner, partner in Highland Wind with Angus King, on behalf of Highland Wind offered $787,000 to Maine government in a letter to LURC Chair Gwen Hilton and LURC Director Catherine Caroll. Nothing like making a massive offer of cash to the government agency that will determine the fate of one's 39 turbine industrial wind project, a veritable license to feast at the public trough on Joe Taxpayer's hard earned money.
This offer and a link to the letter is shown below.
proposes to make twenty annual payments of $39,350 to BPL, to be used for additional protections
of the viewshed as seen from trails in the Bigelow Preserve. Over 20 years, BPL will receive
$787,000 in total annual payments. This funding could also come to BPL as a one-time lump sum,
Thankfully, on April 20, 2011, Maine government weighed in on this monetary offer stating that to accept such an offer would represent a Conflict of Interest. In light of this finding and breath of cleansing fresh air from Augusta, it may now be time to review every situation in the wind review process during the Baldacci years where similar payments have been offered or made. The decision not to take money from King and Gardiner is arguably a slap in the face to Baldacci, NRCM, and wind developers who wrote the perverse tangible benefits law that legitimizes bribery, pits communities against each other in a race to the bottom, and says Maine's quality of place is for sale at a very low price. After 16 years of Angus King and John Baldacci, it would appear that Augusta has just said it is not ok for the Department to take a spiff from the very applicant it is permitting and regulating.
The letter finding the Conflict of Interest appears below and may also be read at the following link: