Honorable Chairman, Co-chairman, Representatives and Senators of the Energy, Utility and Technology Committee.
My name is Monique Thurston, I am a member of the Thurston family which owns a four generation camp in Roxbury, Maine.
LD1315, is a wrong bill for the state of Maine and is a terrifying symbol of abuse of Maine residents for the benefit of an industry which is bent in destroying the State of Maine as we know it.
Why? Because it represents yet another step in the direction of implementation of a law LD 2283, the Expedited Wind Act of 2008 which has been fought by hundreds of Maine residents for more than half a decade in this very same room and represent the worse case of cronyism this State has ever known.
Wind power in Maine is a chess game, a chess game for those protected by multinational companies and allies in the current administration. It is a game that took 20 years to design, a game that redefined new rules for state and federal agencies, reshaping their mandates of protecting America’s citizens and majestic lands into doing the exact opposite. A game that put people’s rights and public health behind those of the wind industry and simply ignored the complaints of those disturbed by the maddening whoosh of turbines.
Wind power is a game that turns electricity, which is already expensive, into a thrice absurdly expensive commodity hurting the pocketbook of residential and business customers alike. First in the purchasing cost, second in the cost of subsidies necessary to support the inefficiency and unreliability of this industry and third in the ratepayer-funded new electrical transmission structures required to accommodate the thermal stresses of spurting wind generation.
Wind power is a game that sacrifices America ’s natural heritage for the profits of parasitic corporations adept at exploiting government policies, political correctness, guilty consciences of environmental organizations and fears about our environment.
In 2010 John Baldacci, now Vice -Chairman of Avangrid was in a hurry. He badly wants to win at this wind power game. He saw the growing statewide opposition and the national economic conditions endangering his strategy. He saw his eight years as governor ending in five short months and fears a new administration with the common sense to put an end to the wastefulness of public spending, increased costs in electricity and human suffering.
John Baldacci designed the game when he proposed and signed a law, LD 2283, that removed all obstacles to the permanent disfigurement of hundreds miles of mountain ridges with thousands of wind turbines, twice the height of the tallest building in the state. But along the way he got help.
His friend and chief counsel of three years, Kurt Adams, former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission and now a vice president of First Wind, helped convince the Legislature that wind power was a good game. They believed him and unanimously passed the governor’s law in 2008.
The law was called the “Expedited Wind Power Law” and was the result of the Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power, an exercise in ideological and environmental insanities that would set in motion sweeping and abhorrent land-use changes.
His other ally David Littell, commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, helped implement the governor’s law by giving permits to hungry developers without serious regard for the environment he was charged to protect. David Littell was an architect of and is implementing the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a sort of New England version of the now defunct federal cap and trade. That initiative was created at the time Maine was already a model in the use of renewables as sources of fuel for its electrical production.
Now the game is changing. The law is in place but a growing opposition in the state, the country and the world is questioning and refuting the energy, economic and environmental premises of wind power.
Meanwhile, a $1.5 billion transmission project has recently been approved by the PUC, sold to the citizens as necessary to replace aging lines. It is now being described by the outgoing PUC chairman and Central Maine Power spokepersons as vital to the sale of wind power by a tiny few to Massachusetts and Connecticut — the real reason all along.
So the Governor Baldacci kept moving his chess pieces. He nominated Kurt Adams as a trustee of the board of the Maine University System and David Littell as the chairman of the PUC. The PUC is the agency giving permits to the building of transmission lines necessary to export wind power electrons. With David Littell as chairman, residents fighting against those new lines may just have a little bit more work to do,indeed ,later in 2012, David Littell, would vote for the Emera /First wind deal not because it was a good thing for the ratepayers but it was a good deal for First Wind who needed the cash infusion desperately. John Baldacci's plan worked perfectly.
The Maine university system has a sizable research program into development of the next generations of wind turbines. With Kurt Adams as a trustee, the agenda of the wind industry will be just a bit more secure.
If there is any hope for John Baldacci to cash in on his wind policies, he must keep the chess game moving so the game can go on and be won.
With the bill proposed in front of you, a new step in advancing John Baldacci's plan is taking shape - giving the right to Avangrid, aka Iberdola to build wind projects in Maine. It seems clear that he was the first choice to assume the position of Vice chairman of that company.
For those of you who have sat through years of hearings questioning endlessly the rational behind the methodical destruction of Maine natural treasure , my letter will be very obvious , for other newer members of this committee , I urge you to connect the dots about a collusion between executive power and industry against the people of Maine .
Today the trust of American citizens in their government is at a all time low,, and while the word cronyism was probably unknown from 90 % of the American public 5 years ago , it is now a very hated buzzword.
Please do not add fuel to the fire by showing a new example of this malady coming from the beautiful state of Maine
Say NO to LD 1513
Monique Thurston -Aniel, formerly of Mexico , Maine is a is a retired physician and past co-chairwoman of the Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Powe