Letter to the DEP regarding the Bingham Meeting.

James J. Lutz

23 Jefferson Street

Bangor, Maine 04401-4851

Home/Fax  207-990-2544   Cell  207-949-2887

jjlutz@aol.com

 

July 12, 2013

 

Re: Bingham Wind Project

 

Mr. Daniel Courtemanch

Project Manager

Division of Land Resource Regulation

Bureau of Land & Water Quality

 

Dear Mr. Courtemanch;

 

I will not be able to attend the meeting on July 22, 2013 regarding the Bingham Wind Project Proposal.  I would like to put forth some questions that should be directed at the developers and get answers before another ridgeline in our beautiful state is destroyed by industrial wind.  These questions are of vital importance before any shovel of earth is turned.

 

  1. Is our current grid substantial enough to adequately carry the fluctuations in the power that comes from wind generated power?  If not, how much more money has to be paid by the Maine ratepayers to bring it up to standards?  We just spent $1.4 billion and raised the rates between 12.5% and 19.8%, all paid by the ratepayers.
  2. Will building this wind site allow us to close any of the currently operating gas or hydro generating plants? Will building ten more sites close any plants?
  3. Will building this wind site improve our air quality or reduce CO2 emissions significantly?
  4. Can this site be built and maintained without government subsidies?  Are these companies willing to put up their own money to build these sites and operate them competitively?
  5. What percentage of the turbines rated output will the actual output of the site be, not just on a good wind day, but on a yearly average? 
  6. How many actual permanent jobs will be created after the construction is finished?  How many Mainers will be involved in the construction?  How much of the actual materials used in the construction are created here in Maine?  How much actually comes from overseas? 
  7. Can we be guaranteed that there will be no health issues from noise and shadow flicker?  Can we be guaranteed that our property values will not be reduced or even wiped out by siting this wind facility. 
  8. Will the lights at night be able to be turned off and on by radar when a plane enters the airspace?  Constant flashing lights are extremely annoying to the quality of place where we used to enjoy Dark Skies Bortle #1 Skys.
  9. What are the rates that will be charged for wind generated power?  How do they compare to the rates we currently get from gas and hydro powered energy?  We have virtually no coal or oil produced electricity in Maine, so what will the wind do to our rates?
  10. How many CO2 sequestering trees will have to be cut and kept from growing again with herbicides to build this project?  This includes roads, turbine sites and surrounding clearcuts.  Will the roads be kept up so they don’t wash out like the ones on other sites, with silt and soil washing into streams and brooks, and flowing down with their pesticides and herbicides into our lakes?   I have pictures to show this happening on the Rollins Project.

 

Mr. Courtemanch, these are serious questions that have not been adequately answered in the past.  Our misguided policies have led us to a breaking point where the Department of Environmental Protection has shirked their responsibilities to the people of Maine for the folly of wind.  These companies should be paying us and selling us energy at competitive rates if this was a good idea.  They would be chomping at the bit to do this if it was profitable.  But we are giving up our “Quality of Place” and paying for it to boot.  The land in Maine is what people from away come here to see, to marvel at our vast wilderness just a few miles from any center of civilization.  Maine has always had that quality, and industrial wind deprives us from that. 

 

Please pose these questions to the developers.  I really don’t think they have any good answers for any of them.  To be honest, I already have the answers from facts that we already know.  This is just a bad plan for our future.

 

Thank you in advance for your time, and I expect more than just a form letter in reply.  Then I will know you have read it and thought about some of the questions yourself.

 

Very truly yours,

 

 

 

James J. Lutz    Bangor, ME

Cc: Patricia Aho, Gov. Paul LePage, Sen. Andre Cushing,

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Comment by Jim Lutz on July 13, 2013 at 10:53am

Hi Penny;

It's a little too long for an op-ed piece and about three times too long for a Letter to the editor.  If I try and cut it back, it will lose some of its impact.  I sent it to the Gov. and it will be circulated among the Legislature.  I hope it wakes a few people up.

Jim

Comment by Penny Gray on July 13, 2013 at 10:27am

What a great letter!  Can this be sent to all the newspapers as an opinion piece?  Thank you, James Lutz!!!

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on July 13, 2013 at 9:46am

Thank you James/ excellent letter- I too cannot attend this one but spoke for the Bowers Project and appreciate the support this group gave us in our fight for saving the lakes near the Oakfield Wind Project- even tho the DEP and BEP and State did not see the destructive impact these huge industrial machines have on our pristine,..and in our case historic..places. In total agreement- the destruction of our lifegiving forests for this ridiculous ineffective greed based technology is simply sad.

 

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

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(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 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From 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?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From 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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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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."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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