Maine Compass: Industrial wind power a catastrophe on every level

This editorial piece now appears in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.



MAINE COMPASS: Industrial wind power a catastrophe on every level

Mike Bond

Previously, it appeared in the Press Herald.


Maine Voices: LePage is right – wind farm subsidies are poor use of government funding

Despite their hype, the massive projects cut neither fossil fuel use nor greenhouse gas emissions.


Mike Bond of Winthrop is an environmental activist and a renewable energy advocate.


WINTHROP — As a lifelong Democrat, environmental activist and renewable energy advocate, I commend Gov. LePage’s recent criticisms of the huge taxpayer-funded industrial wind power scam, which, unless it is stopped, will ruin Maine.

Though initially a proponent of industrial wind, I’ve learned it’s a catastrophe on every level – environmental, fiscal, social and economic.

And now with Maine’s southern neighbors halting industrial wind in their states, they’re paying to build thousands of turbines in Maine, to devastate every magnificent Maine ridge, pinnacle and mountain with howling machines more than 50 stories high, some so tall they’ll be the third-tallest structures in New England.

Industrial wind projects have been clearly proven to slaughter millions of birds and bats, destroy scenic beauty, lower property values and tourism, sicken people and drive them from their homes, increase erosion and raise electric rates. But they make billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies for the investment banks that develop them.

Yet the biggest trouble with industrial wind is it doesn’t lower greenhouse gas emissions or fossil fuel use. Not one molecule. 

... We hear a lot of pro-wind commercials on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and a lot of pro-wind talk from groups like Maine Audubon, the Sierra Club of Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Guess why? Many such organizations get major funding from industrial wind developers.

Years ago I learned a lot about life as a Portland Press Herald paper boy, delivering it sometimes in a blizzard at 30 below, but I made sure my customers got their papers. That’s a spirit Maine inculcates: fairness and reliability. Industrial wind projects have neither.

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Comment by Sherwin Start on February 11, 2014 at 7:50pm

IF The People of The NORTH Woods Think that WIND Farms are going to SOLVE All of their ECONOMIC Problems and Produce High Paying Jobs with Good Benefits-THEY ARE VERY SADLY MISTAKEN! Hell They aren't even going to get any POWER From these Turbines! Fact They are TOTALLY self Regulating and STAND ALONE just as Cell towers Are! So now the WIND POwer Developers are BRIBEING Them with $5,000 Checks Now! I am Not Surprised-I have Seen this take place in ALASKA! It's A last Ditch Effort of a DESPARATE Organization!

Comment by Sherwin Start on February 11, 2014 at 7:35pm

U are absolutely Right on Target Mike! But U forgot One other VERY Seroius DRAWBACK From Wind Turbines-The NOise -The Noise Is in Fact Driving the Wildlife int Neighboring States and CANADA! NOISE /Sound Pollution is Is Also having a Very Serious DETREMENTAL Impact on the HUman Population of this State!.Already NUMEROUS cases of People being Literally DRIVEN Off their Property Due to the 50 db.++ Noise from wind turbines can be documented!THere are VAST Areas that There is NO Wildlife of Anykind these areas are where there are Wind Turbines!

Comment by alice mckay barnett on February 11, 2014 at 7:02pm

Dan McKay The summary of this bill states the economic and emission benefits of a wind project is presumed. This is very questionable and is good reason for " ought not to pass" status. A better bill would have experts in the economic and engineering fields produce real findings, rather than presumptions.

I feel an amendment to this bill is necessary : the economic and emission benefit/cost determination shall be conducted by the Governor's Energy Office and the project's approval/denial shall be based on this determination.

Comment by alice mckay barnett on February 11, 2014 at 6:53pm

LD1750 In summary, this bill has largely been written by the wind industry for Senator Alfond to sponsor. If this bill is passed as it is now written, it will be all but impossible to stop any wind energy project in Maine

Comment by Martha thacker on February 9, 2014 at 8:50am

Arthur qwenk

Maybe the media wasn't coopted in NC. But here in ME, the media praised the wonderfulness of wind farms like they had a vested interest in ME becoming a gigantic wind farm or something.The BDN would add a few comments at the last of their articles by opposers..but the gist of articles were totally pushing wind power. Then the BDN had to start censoring comments all the while denying that they were doing it. Controlled efforts to sell us down the river..buying up supporters like the audabon society who were against wind farms until their membership dropped off...then they were for them. At the hearings the pro wind farm people were moved to the front of the line to speak glowingly of them. It didn't seem apparent to  LURC and DEP that the lung association and the snow mobile club really had nothing of substance to say. Then at the last hearing I attended, the Carroll residents, who I heard were offered 5,000 each to like a wind farm , only spoke of no work in the area and how much they NEEDED a wind farm to make it in our new industrialized north woods. You have to pay for your govt. in UT. The tiny township of Burlington , pop. around 300, got a fire dept. and are getting a nursing home..and a used up turbine after 20 years..just because there was a selectmen who actually was representing his constituents. The ME govt. said nobody lived near Stetson I and II year round , so not to worry about noise. We need to vote at every election and not forget how we were sold for a pittance...turn these people out of office who like money more than good govt.

Comment by arthur qwenk on February 1, 2014 at 11:36am
See the below concerning how they do it down south!
In October of 2013, a major wind project was targeted for coastal North Carolina. I decided to use this as a test case for AWED’s model wind ordinance.
The results were excellent from the get-go.
For example, with no money and no organization behind this, we were able to:
— setup an informative website,
— get the media to oppose the project,
— get the majority of local citizens to oppose the project,
— get several major local organizations (e.g. Chamber of Commerce) to oppose the project,
— get essentially all our local and state legislators to oppose the project.
— get the two involved communities to draft comprehensive ordinances.
Note that none of this was easy, as there were numerous substantial obstacles to overcome. For example the Sierra Club conducted a major statewide campaign to support the wind project, and to discredit me and our efforts.
Despite the challenges we persisted. 
This coordinated effort was too much for the developer, and last night they officially threw in the towel. (Here is a newspaper article.)...  It took just 3± months of a focused campaign to win.
This came about because of two fundamental reasons:
1 - the developer realized that the involved communities would impose quality protections for citizens, businesses, the environment and the military, and
2 - the developer saw that there was very strong community (and thus legislative) support for those protections.
The protections (and the words for them), are spelled out in AWED’s model wind ordinance:
— 1 mile setbacks to property lines,
— 35 dBA turbine sound limits, at property lines, 24/7,
— a simple but powerful Property Value Guarantee,
— community controlled environmental tests,
— proper decommissioning funds and conditions, and
— an escrow account to pay for town expenses, maintained at $50k for the life of the project.
Probably the greatest frustration in my 35± years of environmental/energy work, is that when faced with such intrusions, that almost every community worldwide seems to basically try to reinvent the wheel.
I’m passing this on to you because I hope you can profit from our experiences. This was a communityvictory, and a superior example of what can be done elsewhere, when citizens work together in a constructive, productive way.
Consider this final thought: NC passed an RPS in 2007 mandating renewable (wind) energy. A half dozen major wind projects have been proposed since then. We have aggressively fought each of these, using AWED methodology — with no money. As of today there is not a single industrial wind turbine in the entire state.
Draw your own conclusions. See MUCH more at
john droz, jr.
physicist & environmental advocate
Morehead City, NC
Comment by Sherwin Start on January 28, 2014 at 9:40pm

WELL NOW theres A man That KNOWS the TOTAL TRUTH ABOUT The Facts about WIND POwer! Now That He Knows it -Why Doesn't he Do something about it-PUT IT TO AN END!! Wind Power Development-Thanks to The 2008 Legislature -Has and is DESTROYING the State of Maine!! It is Also WASTING BILLONS of Dollars of the TAX Payers Nation-Wide! Environmentally-i.e. NOISE POllution and Destroyer of Many SPECIES Of Wildlife! Lets Get Into The NATURAL GAS Grid-NOW! Develop-SOLAR Energy Farms,DRILL/Tap GEOTHERMAL Hot Spots,Development ENVIRONMENTALLY Friendly HYDRoelectric  Dams!! The State of MAINE Has Already Lost MILLONS Of Tourists Dolars and Stands to Loose many MILLONS More!


Comment by larry sherman on January 28, 2014 at 2:58pm

This is one of the best editorials I've seen regarding the fallacies of industrial wind farms.  Hope most of you spend the time to read the full article.  It covers most of the falsehoods put out by the pro-wind industry.  The environmental groups like Audubon and Sierra Club have been bought out by money from First Wind.  Shows that all you need to to get your way in Maine (and America) is to be able to bribe people to your way of thinking.  I don't think the people of Maine really want to sacrifice their ridges and mountains to supply inefficient energy to other states.  Thanks to this website the fight continues to educate Mainers to the truth!  

p.s.  I am another environmentalist that was once a wind energy proponent (i.e. what could be wrong with pretty little windmills?)  until I learned the facts of massive inefficient 500 foot tall industrial wind farms being placed all over the forested ridges and mountains of rural Maine.

Comment by Martha thacker on January 28, 2014 at 1:43pm

Great letter to the editor.


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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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."

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