I am writing today to plead to the Energy, Utilities, and Technology committee to take BOLD ACTION when considering the various wind-related LDs that were heard by your committee.  Having been involved with the citizens’ battle against the destructive proliferation of utility scale wind power projects for 5 years, I strongly believe that PL 661 must be repealed.  The bills before you only “nibble at the edges” of what is wrong with this statute.

  •  Never before has such promotion been provided to a single industry, yet this is an industry that would not even exist except for unduly favorable subsidies, tax treatment, regulatory treatment, and mandates.
  • The Governor’s Wind Task Force was a stacked deck that led to legislation that was rammed through the last hours of the short session of the Legislature in April 2008 with the minimum legal requirements being met.  Such a far reaching law with huge ramifications should have had years of public education, debate, input, and careful consideration by lawmakers.
  • The basis for the “emergency” preamble and the premises of the bill (“findings” of a Legislature that never read the bill!) were false from the beginning and have been refuted in its entirety.
  • The results of utility scale wind development are showing, whereby the large projects in Maine have just 24.27% capacity factor in 2012, based on reporting by the wind industry to FERC.  Examining data from regional grid operator ISO-New England proves that wind power is unpredictable, unreliable, cannot be dispatched when needed, is expensive, has caused expensive expansion of transmission lines and equipment to handle this skittering source of electricity, and is considered only in the surplus planning as it cannot be a base-load or base-load following supplier.  Since Maine (and New England) do not need this electricity and it is being mandated based on arbitrary, ideology-based RPS, is it worth the losses to Maine to continue to promote expansion of this industry as state policy?  Shouldn’t state policy be to allow wind power to develop based on market forces like all other industry?
  • Based on projections from the impact of existing wind projects, a build-out of the PL 661 goal of 2700 MW of on-shore capacity by 2020 will mean more than 300 miles of Maine’s mountain ridgelines will be blasted, leveled, and scalped; to put up 1500 more 45 story tall machines; resulting in 50,000 acres of carbon-sequestering forest being clearcut; a spiderweb of new powerlines criss crossing the state to connect to the trunk lines; and at least 2 more 345 kv lines similar in impact to the MPRP to carry intermittent surges of wind power out of state.
  • The cost of wind power must be measured not only in its increase in electricity and delivery rates but also in the toll on residents and wildlife.  People are being hurt in Freedom, Vinalhaven, Mars Hill, Lincoln, and Lee.  Injury to health and well being of Maine residents must not be tolerated.  Wind power development results in loss of value to property and to loss of market opportunity.  Lastly, the state’s vaunted “Quality of Place”, regarded as Maine’s greatest asset in the Brookings Institute study in 2007 is being destroyed by utility scale wind power development.  Important sector’s of Maine’s $10 billion per year tourism industry are hurt by this intrusion. 


The citizens of the state petitioned the Legislature in good faith two years ago to modify PL 661.  This same committee, swayed by obvious supporters of the wind industry serving on the committee, voted “Ought Not to Pass” on every LD.  Recognition that the citizens had valid criticisms, however, led the committee to order an independent study.  The OEIS report by primary author Steve Ward contains a modicum of recommendations to bring changes to this law that are so innocuous that no changes will hinder the industry in a major way.  But it is a start towards a more fair balance between the interests of the citizens and this favored industry.


BE BOLD!  Enact a bill that will clearly, in a short time frame, implement the recommendations of the OEIS report.  Bring fair treatment to the negatively impacted people of Freedom and Vinalhaven by incorporating their bills.  Allow the residents of the Unorganized Townships located in the Expedited Wind Zone to have the same equal opportunity of self determination regarding siting of wind power projects in those areas.  Repeal the 100 MW limit on Renewable Sources of Energy to allow all sources to be part of our electricity mix and let the market forces decide.


BE BOLD!  Recognize that in two legislative sessions, there is overwhelming evidence that there are numerous, serious flaws to PL 661.  Hastily enacted legislation usually results in poor public policy and this is a prime example.  Oder a complete, top to bottom, completely open and transparent review of this law with the intent to have legislation to regulate the wind industry to replace PL 661 in time for the short session of the Legislature next year.  With a change in composition of the EUT Committee, the citizens expected the Legislature to listen to well researched and well reasoned critiques of a bad law and not just protect the wind industry.  After all, it the citizens’ interests that must be paramount to a special interest.


Brad Blake

3 Hearn Road

Scarborough, Maine 04074

Co-chair, Citizens’ Task force on Wind Power


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Comment by clyde macdonald on May 23, 2013 at 1:25pm

Right on, Brad. 

Comment by Hart Daley on May 23, 2013 at 8:27am

My letter

Dear Energy, Utilities and Technology committee,
I am submitting this email to your committee to urge you to seriously consider and act accordingly on the multiple wind related LD's that were presented to and heard by all of you. I am imploring the EUT to repeal PL 661.  
Wind energy is an industry that has garnered preferential treatment through federal tax subsidies, tax consideration, and other regulations and mandates. In April of 2008, former Gov. Baldacci expeditiously spearheaded legislation via the Governor's Wind Task Force without conducting the proper research and allowing necessary public input regarding the expedited wind law.
People living in certain areas of unorganized territories had their voices and rights stripped away without any consideration of the negative impacts they would endure. For Maine to reach the "unrealistic" goal of 2700 MW of onshore wind energy capacity by the year 2020, over 300 miles of pristine mountains will inevitably be devastated and permanently destroyed.
It must be recognized that Wind generated energy is unpredictable, inefficient and cannot provide energy at peak demand times as it can only be generated when and if the wind is blowing at specific speeds. In 2012 wind energy capacity factor was at less than 25% even though they boast over 35%. One only needs to seek the data from the ISO-New England grid. The energy cannot be stored and is the most expensive form of energy produced, which translates into higher and higher energy costs for Maine ratepayers. This is unfair to a poor populace when there are more cost effective sources of energy at our disposal. The government is considering or already exporting natural gas outside the U.S. due to the low costs and ample supply. Shouldn't Mainer's be allowed to capitalize on this cheaper source of energy?
Please take the time to seriously consider the harm that has befallen the people of Lincoln, Lee, Freedom, Vinalhaven and Mars Hill. Wind industry claims they have invested a "billion" dollars into Maine's economy. Much of that is from federal "tax payer funded" grants and loans. Basically taking money from our right hand and putting it into our left hand. What about the negative impact this agenda will have on our multi-billion dollar A YEAR tourism industry? We are selling out our identity and our beautiful, unique "quality of place".
Please enact fair treatment to the people residing in Unorganized Townships located in the Expedited Wind Zone areas to have the same equal opportunity regarding  the right to chose whether or not to site wind power projects in those areas.  Repeal the 100 MW limit on Renewable Sources of Energy to allow all sources to be part of our electricity mix and let the market forces decide.
Please recognize that there are very serious flaws to PL 661. If the proper time had been taken to research PL 661 it would not have been passed in it's present state. I beg you to protect the citizens of this great State of Maine, to protect their health and well being and to protect their property rights before protecting the rights of any industry.
Thank you for your valuable time,
Hart Daley (Selectman)
7 Hidden Meadow Lane
Dixfield, ME 04224
Phone: 207-562-9234


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 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From 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?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From 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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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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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