True impacts obscured

By Steve Thurston

Friday, September 3, 2010 2:12 PM EDT

I am writing in response to Karin Tilberg’s letter-to-the-editor, in which she defends the “Wind Law” and the task force that led to its implementation “Articles were unfair,” Aug. 27).

She criticizes Naomi Schalit for unfairly characterizing the process, but the incriminating words in Schalit’s three-part series came not from Schalit, but from those interviewed who were involved in the process.

The chairman of the task force said no calculation of the number of turbines required to achieve 2,700 megawatts of power was ever done (as many as 1,800 1.5 MW turbines on 360 miles of mountain tops), and it is clear that no one bothered to figure out that 2,700 MW of wind power at a 25 percent capacity factor would only provide about 2 percent of the generation capacity of the ISO-New England grid.

This suggests the process was designed to obscure the true impacts of wind power while greatly overstating its insignificant benefits.

The “Wind Law” was not passed unanimously as Tilberg claims. It was passed “under the gavel” — which means “by unanimous consent” without debate or a roll call vote. The legislative record of this law shows that “suspension of the rules” was employed at every step to assure passage.

A law that unraveled 50 years of protection of Maine’s priceless scenic heritage passed through both houses of the Legislature and was signed into law in three weeks! It’s a sad testament to the Legislature that it was asleep at the switch when the 2,700 MW train barreled through Augusta in April 2008.

Maine is self sufficient with a greater percentage of renewable generation than any other state. Maine does not need more generators. If there is a demand for electricity elsewhere in the grid, Hydro-Quebec offers unsubsidized low cost electricity. Vermont just signed a new 20-year contract for dependable, low-priced Quebec hydro electricity. Maine should do the same. Destroying the scenic beauty of Maine’s wild places for wind power must not be permitted to continue.

Steve Thurston, co-chairman, Citizens Task Force on Wind Power, Oquossoc

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Comment by Whetstone_Willy on September 3, 2010 at 10:42pm
Clearly Naomi Schalit hit a nerve. Another person who wrote a Tilbergesque complaint about Schalit's series was Suzanne Sayer, apparently a member of the Task Force's Subcommittee on Community Wind. Sayer wrote in the 9/1/10 Times Record that " Naomi was not there and is biased. Her characterization that the task force meetings were closed or secret is wrong".

There's only one problem with this Ms. Sayer, Naomi Schalit never wrote such a thing.

I just read the three part series of Schailit's in its entirety and in not one place does Ms. Schalit say this.

Next time you write a complaining letter, check the facts. For that matter, do the same if you ever get on a task force again.
Comment by Bob Brooks on September 3, 2010 at 7:41pm
Thank you Steve. This not so subtle distinction, that it is not her words but the words of those in attendance, is critical in understanding why Naomi Shalit's article is so important.
Comment by Karen Bessey Pease on September 3, 2010 at 4:40pm
The best defense is and has always been a strong offense. Responses such as Ms. Tilberg's to Naomi Schallit's investigate report simply show that the wind industry and the administration are getting nervous. They are worried that their house of cards will be blown away by the wind of truth... and they can be counted on to come out swinging. But the people of Maine have no patience with liars, and as long as we continue to shout the facts from these majestic mountaintops until all Mainers have heard our voices, the truth will win out in the end. Keep up the good work, Steve!

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."


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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