12/18/13 PRESS STATEMENT BY CITIZENS TASK FORCE ON WIND POWER
OPEN LETTER TO THE EUT COMMITTEE MEMBERS
We are insulted, but not surprised, that this Committee has chosen to hear only from the established industrial wind industry, personified by Juliet Brown and Stacey Fitts.
Brown is the attorney for most of the industrial wind developers in Maine and former legislator Fitts was working for a company with wind company contracts when he chaired the EUT committee. Brown was instrumental in drafting the Expedited Wind Act, which greatly benefits her clients and, therefore, Ms. Browne herself. Both she and Mr. Fitts are vocal cheerleaders for industrial wind. Do you really expect to receive an impartial assessment of the Wind Act from Brown and Fitts?
Not surprisingly, though, it is clear that you do not want an impartial assessment, since you have not yet done anything in response to the OEIS report “Maine Wind Assessment 2012.” This Committee itself requested that report in 2011 and it was given to you in March 2013 by Patrick Woodcock, Director of OEIS. The Report makes 25 recommendations to correct flaws in the wind permitting law. How many of those recommendations has this Committee addressed or otherwise considered?
Over the last four years you have heard hundreds of hours of testimony in this very room, from outraged, pleading, despairing, discouraged, dejected and depressed citizens from every part of Maine who are exposed, or potentially exposed, to the nightmare of industrial wind power. Yet you have done nothing at all to respond to their pleas. You act as though the citizens are your servants, not the other way around.
For years, you have listened to the wind industry and to Big Green, the major environmental groups who care more for their own financial survival than for people who are being harmed by suffering noise impacts, decreased property values, violation of their civil rights and other impacts.
You have continually upheld the arguments of the wind industry that any changes to the wind law would negatively affect their profit margins and scare away investors. You have never questioned the low output of the turbines already up, you have never questioned how many jobs they really provide and who those jobs are given to.
You chose, however, to kill all of the bills that we have proposed and used the study only as a way to avoid taking action. Today's agenda includes no consideration of the report, nor of OEIS' and DEP's views and concerns as expressed in the EUT meeting of May 7, 2013.
When the wind law was passed, nobody in the legislature considered that reaching the goals expressed in the law would require more than 300 miles of mountain ridges be lined with turbines as tall as 50 story skyscrapers, or that the noise of these behemoths would negatively impact the health of Mainers. No one discussed the thousands of birds, bats and raptors that would be killed or lost to habitat destruction. And no one knew that the thousands of turbines would yield less than 5% more electricity to the grid, with CO2 savings of only 1%.
But now you know.!!! While it is too late for Mars Hill, the Boundary Mountains, Freedom, Vinalhaven, Lincoln, Burlington, Lee, Stetson Mountain, Danforth, Roxbury, Bull Hill, Eastbrook and Spruce Mountain, it is not too late for the rest of Maine.
We demand some action now from this Committee.
Do what you were sent to Augusta to do, represent your constituents.
It is not your job to represent energy greedy residents of other New England states!
It is not your job to represent the executives of out of state wind corporations!
It is not your job to represent attorneys and lobbyists employed by Portland law firms.! Your job is to represent the people of this state.
And you have failed miserably in this task!
FOR CITIZENS TASK FORCE ON WIND POWER