If They Can Do Away With Wind In The Desert, Why Can’t We Do It Here In Maine?
The Federal Courts just shot down a huge development of 87 wind turbines in the desert of Nevada because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) had inconsistencies in their reporting of endangered species and impact to the environment the project would do. I have been to the area around Lake Mead where this project was to have been built, and it is basically a wasteland compared to the mountains and viewshed we have here in Maine. I just returned from Southern California and the industrialization of the desert there is appalling.
In terms of endangered species, we have had a resurgence in the last 25 years in our Bald Eagle population, and though it has been removed from the list, it is still a protected species, vulnerable to the spinning blades of wind turbines. Bird strike deaths are up, though they are not properly reported.
Industrial wind turbine towers, that are taller than any building in the State of Maine, have no place on our mountaintops. We are becoming the industrialized wasteland of New England, and for what reason? Our New England neighbors want to live the “green” energy life at our expense. All the power created in our desecrated mountains is going out of state and we have to pay for the transmission, loss of our pristine lands and wildlife, and loss of property values.
Our government lied to us in 2008 when they pushed through the “Expedited Wind Act” and told us we were the Saudi Arabia of wind. We are not. In fact we are at the bottom of the country’s wind list regarding onshore wind. We cannot get accurate efficiency statistics on Maine’s turbines, that’s classified information by the developers, but it lies in the 25 to 30 % range. (See Map)
Wind energy is just a way that Governor (Baldacci, now a Vice Chairman of the second largest Wind Company in the US) and his corporate cronies (King, et al) were able to tap into government money. These people profit greatly from the government subsidies and are hard pressed to make any money if they don’t exist. The only time there is a big push to build wind turbines is when the subsidy is in place. In the years when they can’t get the money, they have put forward very few proposals.
Now the Congress and President have put the PTC subsidy in place for 5 more years, and the number of proposals has exploded! At the latest count they are at 51 new bids. They are looking to TRIPLE the number of turbines in Maine in the next few years.
As our elected representatives gain more control over our tax dollars, they entice businessmen to the trough and then they demand campaign contributions in return. They also get jobs for their aides and friends in the form of lobbying contracts. All the insiders get rich at the expense of the ordinary taxpayer and ratepayer. Maine is a prime example of that.
To quote Mr. Dean Chambers, “It is clear that the “green” in renewable energy is the money, much of it from federal subsidies, that flows from the taxpayers and into the pockets of the politicians, cronies and corporations involved.” In spite of the claims from wind companies, wind is not cheaper, is not cleaner, is not friendlier to the environment and does not produce enough reliable energy to compete on the open market. Let the free market reign and stop the invasion of mass industrialization in Maine for the wrong “green” reasons.
James J. Lutz