Maine's 2008 Expedited Wind Law was to large degree predicated on reducing CO2 as summed up by Governor Baldacci's Wind Task Force Chairman Alec Giffen: "Wind power is an essential response to global warming".
But according to the EPA, it turns out that the only CO2 source which wind power would seem to have any effect on, electric power, accounted for only 10.81% of Maine's CO2 emissions in the most recent year for which data are available, 2012. The national average for the same year was 37.49%. Looking at the last five years, 2008-2012, the story is the same - Maine's electricity production plays relatively little role in creating CO2 (12.57% vs. the U.S. average of 38.70% or less than a third of the national average).
Meanwhile, transportation accounts for 50.06% of Maine's CO2 emissions and recently we have seen our speed limits increased, all but assuring even more CO2 to come from Maine transportation. I personally do not object to the higher speed limits. However I find it frustrating that many of those who cite climate change as justification for littering Maine with these grossly inefficient turbines and new wind-required transmission offered no objections to creating more CO2 by our number one CO2 emitter, transportation, when the speed limits were increased.
CO2 avoidance is but one of many foundations of the 2008 expedited wind law that does not stand up to scrutiny. It is clear why the law had to be rushed through - its wind industry authors did not want anyone in the legislature to read it. They didn't and countless Mainers continue to suffer as a result.
CO2 Emissions from Fossil Fuel Combustion by Economic Sector - Million Metric Tons CO2 (MMTCO2) *
Additional data analysis in Excel:
* Greenhouse gas emissions data can be reported either by economic sector, which includes electric power generation as a separate sector, or by end-use sector, which distributes the emissions from electricity generation across the economic sectors where the electricity is used.