Ellsworth American - Ethan Genter - June 23, 2021
AUGUSTA — A compromise has emerged in the state Legislature that would install a permanent ban on wind energy development in state waters and give the fishing industry a seat at the table on any federal projects that want to connect to land through the state’s jurisdiction.
The compromise came from the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, which had been considering a pair of dueling bills on offshore wind. The first was an outright ban of state agencies permitting wind development in the Gulf of Maine proposed by local state Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor). The second was a 10-year moratorium on offshore wind power projects in state waters that came from Governor Janet Mills.
Faulkingham has been the fishing industry’s standard bearer in Augusta, filing his proposed ban and headlining an anti-wind development protest at the civic center. Mills tried to appease fishermen with the moratorium, but many fishermen felt it didn’t go far enough and called for a complete halt to offshore wind projects in Maine.
Faulkingham said he had been working with state Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth) on this compromise and wanted to make sure fishermen had a...
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