FMM Submits Letter to New Maine Climate Council


Quantify the Impacts vs the Benefits

Honorable members of the Maine Climate Council: 

Friends of Maine's Mountains is the non-governmental organization in Maine that opposes mountain-based wind energy on the basis that the meager benefits are dwarfed by the massive impacts. FMM thanks Governor Mills, and it congratulates you for joining the noble pursuit of her zero carbon by 2045 goal.  

The job is huge and the timeline long, so rather than watch you re-till old ground, FMM submits the following comment in hope that you can better hit the ground running. 

Know Maine's CO2 Sources   For most of the last decade policymakers have heavily focused on climate “solutions” in the electricity sector, which is a tiny slice of Maine's carbon footprint pie. This data is readily available, and can appropriately guide you to "problems" before you propose "solutions." So get this data immediately.

Quantify Carbon Sequestration Early Like the aforementioned baseline information on CO2 sources, sequestration needs to be quantified. Once you reliably know this number, you might conclude immediately that Maine is carbon neutral today, or better, a carbon sink. This calculation can heavily influence your entire project.

Focus on how to Electrify Transportation and Heating  This is where the CO2 is, the low hanging fruit, the ROI. Because Maine's electricity is among America's cleanest, converting from fossil fuels to electricity in heating and driving is the great opportunity to reduce Maine's CO2. However, as discussed below, electrifying Maine’s energy consumption will necessitate more generation than one might imagine.

Know our Best-Case Scenario From the start of this journey and throughout it, you need to be mindful of the destination, the best possible outcome. If Maine’s entire electricity sector converted to zero-carbon, it would reduce 1.4 MMT of CO2 annually.  Subtracted from the 36,000 MMT of global CO2, that would result in a 4/1000ths of one percent reduction.

If Maine could decarbonize its entire 16 MMT of CO2 from all energy sectors, it would result in a 3/100ths of one percent global CO2 reduction. 

If complete decarbonization of Maine electricity were akin to prescribing a zero-calorie diet upon a 170 pound person, and if the person’s weight were equated to global CO2, then the diet would promise that person weight loss totaling 1/10th of one ounce. If that diet could be equated to complete decarbonization of all Maine energy sectors, the global CO2 reduction (weight loss) would total one ounce. 

So before we delude ourselves into thinking Maine can make some significant difference in a world where the EIA predicts energy consumption will increase nearly 50% by 2050, where developing nations are building coal plants and burning fossil fuels at breakneck pace to power burgeoning economies, we need to keep this perspective on how much good we can achieve even in a best-case scenario. 

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Comment by Art Brigades on October 8, 2019 at 9:47am

Governor Mills wants Maine to be "CO2 Neutral" in 25 years, but as this article reminds us, Maine is already carbon neutral AND MORE:  

With 7 million hectares of forest in Maine we sequester far more CO2 than we emit. 
If 1 hectare of forest absorbs 6.4 metric tons of CO2 per year, then Maine's trees sequester 45 million metric tons. Thats almost three times more CO2 than every emission in Maine across all sectors...lawnmowers, trucks, furnaces, paper mills, power plants...
Sure, go ahead and try reducing Maine CO2, but let's get real about the magnitude of the "problem," and the urgency of the "solution."
Comment by Thinklike A. Mountain on October 5, 2019 at 5:09pm

Net-Zero Carbon Dioxide Emissions By 2050 Requires A New Nuclear Power Plant Every Day


Comment by Willem Post on October 5, 2019 at 3:28pm

Thé above is a very well reasoned summary and should be widely disseminated all over New England.

There are lots of people and politicians who want to rake in as many subsidiés and grants as possible and keep themselves busy finding solutions.

Greatly increasing the efficiency of all buildings and then equip them with GROUND source heat pumps the best way to go.

AIR source heat pumps do not work in Maine and Vermont on colder days. Stop pursuing that fantasy 

Comment by Whetstone_Willy on October 5, 2019 at 1:02pm

Delete Comment

Where's the math?

With the folks predicting by mid century the deaths of billions due to the climate change they foresee, why does every solution they demand exclude nuclear power out of hand?

There's no nice way to say it: obviously these folks haven't thought this through.

Estimates for all nuclear plant deaths in history range from perhaps 200 to 10,000. Compare that to their feared billions and ask - why not nuclear?

If you take the upper end estimate of 10,000 and average it across a history of 60 years of reactors, it's an average of 167 deaths a year from nuclear. That's about 1/4th of the number of people murdered each year in Chicago. Every year about 90,000 die across the world from snakebites. In other words, 167 deaths a year from nuclear is not a big price to pay if it will stop billions from dying. 

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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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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