20 Key FACTS About Industrial Wind In Maine

Several years ago we published “The Facts about Wind Development in Maine.” That piece is the basis for why Friends of Maine’s Mountains exists, and it’s worth re-visiting.

Mainers’ doubts are growing about industrial wind, and so are their doubts about blowing up the tops of our mountains for no good reason. We are all starting to realize that industrial turbines do nothing to get us off oil, and do hardly anything to reduce CO2 emissions. But they DO indeed raise our electricity rates significantly. Yes folks, it’s the economic equation that, in the end, will make it clear that industrial wind turbines are not the right renewable energy solution for Maine. Click THIS LINK to find out why.

BREAKING NEWS: major setback to industrial wind project

(Augusta, Maine) The Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) held a meeting today in Augusta, Maine to review the denial First Wind's Bowers Wind Project by the Maine Department of Environmenal Protection (DEP). After a long day of testimony and deliberation, the BEP voted 4-1 to move closer to a "likely rejection" of the Bowers Wind Project. We are happy to report an excellent showing by our friends and allies. CLICK ON THE VIDEO for a quick pan, revealing a room JAMMED with industrial wind foes. Here's a good article by the BANGOR DAILY NEWS.

Industrial wind biting their fingernails in Maine

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 7.40.06 PM.png

Industrial wind speculators, especially First Wind, will be on edge tomorrow because they’ll be trying to get the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) to reverse the DEP’s denial of the Bowers Wind Project. The BEP holding a public meeting tomorrow, Thursday, May 1, at the Augusta Civic Center, 9:00 AM.

First Wind will be on edge because Maine people are finally catching on: industrial wind is a high-cost, low-benefit waste. More than that, Mainers are also starting to understand how companies like First Wind --- hoping to pocket tax and ratepayer subsidies --- have manipulated the political system, including agencies like the BEP. Resentment about that is starting to filter up from the grassroots through the political food chain, to elected officials and regulators. So this, on the eve of tomorrow’s important meeting, is an excellent point in time to review three outstanding articles by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. The articles are an ugly but necessary glimpse at the “inside game” industrial wind developers like First Wind have been playing. Three excerpts and links follow:

DAMNING EXCERPT: While he was Maine’s chief utilities regulator, Kurt Adams accepted an ownership interest in a leading wind energy company. One month later, in May 2008, he went to work for that company, First Wind, as a senior vice president. The move from a state job to the private sector richly rewarded Adams: A "summary compensation table" in a recent SEC filing shows that Adams's 2009 compensation of $1.3 million included $315,000 in salary, $658,000 in stock awards, $29,000 of "other" compensation and $315,000 in "non-equity incentives." Full article, “PUC chairman took equity stake in wind company,” at this link.

DAMNING EXCERPT: 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 – the number is likely to be at least 1,000 and perhaps as high as 2,000. Instead, they got carried along in the wave of enthusiasm that emerged from the administration, the legislative committee, wind power developers and the governor’s task force. “Wind power was exciting,” says Pingree. “I think legislators had a sense we wanted to be bold and have the state be a real leader in this area -- they may not have known how many turbines, or the challenges of siting that many turbines.” Full article, “Wind-swept task force set the rules,” at this link.

DAMNING EXCERPT: There was never a mandate for the task force to examine the relative merits of wind power development in Maine. Instead, members started from the assumption that wind power should be developed in Maine, and the sooner, the better. Full article, “Wind power bandwagon hits bump in the road,” at this link.

Maine wind foes, guess what?

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and this is one of the best --- simply prevent the wind speculators from getting their hands on the land. As many of you already know, there was exciting news Sunday from Keep It Grand, "A Citizens Organization to Protect East Grand Lake." Our hearty congratulations to everyone involved, and you can find out more about Keep It Grand AT THIS LINK. If you haven't seen it yet, here's the text of their e-mail BULLETIN they sent out on Monday:

***********

April 28, 2014

Dear Members,

Keep It Grand is pleased to announce that Flagstaff Mountain and Greenland Ridge have been purchased by David and Lynette Snow, Jr. of Darien, CT from Haynes Timberlands.

The transfer of ownership constitutes an abrupt and welcome change of course for the highlands overlooking East Grand Lake, which have been targeted for a major industrial wind power grid. Under the new ownership, wind turbines will no longer threaten the spectacular beauty of this border lake, shared by neighbors from Maine and New Brunswick.

The 5,315-acre tract lies wholly within the town of Danforth, and incorporates about 5.3 miles of ridgeline from north to south. All of Greenland Ridge and 1,050-foot-high Flagstaff Mountain, the focus of an extensive field of wind towers and turbines proposed by developer Cianbro, Inc. and Haynes Timberlands, is included in the parcel. The tract also includes 4,400 feet of frontage along East Grand Lake and approximately 15,000 feet of frontage on Sucker Lake.

“This is a magnificent parcel of land,” said KIG president Wes Lord. “Its high elevation and dramatic views over East Grand Lake make it special. And in the same token, the special character of East Grand depends on the natural integrity of this unspoiled range. Folks along the lake can take a deep breath of relief.”

The Snow family first came to East Grand Lake in 1905, when William and Elinor Snow (David’s great grandparents) purchased half of Manley Island. Since that time, generations have summered on the lake and have gained a deep affection for the area. The Snows presently spend summers at their family cottage in Forest City.

“Our intent is to maintain the parcel as working timberland, in order to preserve local jobs reliant on the flow of wood and fiber from the forest,” said David Snow recently. “Those jobs are important to local communities here. This tract has been aggressively harvested, and we would like to manage it in a way that is more sustainable. We will secure professional forestry counsel to guide decisions on the land.”

The Snows also plan to allow outdoor recreation such as hunting and snowmobiling. “There is significant game habitat on this parcel, and Maine people are accustomed to the privilege of open lands. So long as the land is respected, we hope to keep it open for public low-intensity recreation.”

Haynes Timberlands is owned by Malcolm and Barbara French of Enfield, Maine. Their ownership tenure is terminated as of April 28, 2014. Plans are in place to remove the two meteorological towers by July 31, 2014.

“Folks around the lake owe much gratitude to KIG Board Member David Snow, who has stepped forward to rescue those values we all cherish,” added Lord. “Thank you!”

Sincerely,

The Keep It Grand Board

BULLETIN for Industrial Wind Foes!

Wind industrialists are hoping we don't show up this week. They want to put more millions, generated from our tax subsidies and higher electricity bills, into their pocket.

Please watch this video to find out why Thursday, May 1 is so important! First Wind wants to reverse the DEP’s denial of the Bowers Wind Project. Watch the video to understand full context. The Board of Environmental Protection is holding a public meeting on this Thursday at the Augusta Civic Center, 9:00 AM. We need you there!

   VERY IMPORTANT BULLETIN FOR ALL INDUSTRIAL WIND FOES IN MAINE!

VERY IMPORTANT BULLETIN FOR ALL INDUSTRIAL WIND FOES IN MAINE!

Maine keeps spinning an extravagant wind gamble

  CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO

CLICK IMAGE FOR VIDEO

Speaking of spin, that’s exactly what the industrial wind barons do when they are pulling the wool over our eyes about the scarce tangible benefits of this unnecessary development. (Click on this link for our ECONOMIC VIDEO MESSAGE of the day.)

The wind itself may be free, but the turbines, the transmission lines, the higher electricity rates that you will pay, and the tax subsidies that you have to keep shelling out are astronomically expensive compared to other fuel sources like natural gas, which is plentiful. The costs of industrial wind turbines far outweigh the benefits. As long as Maine keeps propping up a technology that can’t stand on its own, plan on paying much more than necessary for your energy.

Dear Maine: Get ready for HUGE SPIKES in your electric bill

If you like to pay steep increases in your light bill, then you’re probably a strong supporter of blowing up Maine’s mountain tops to build more industrial wind turbines. WATCH THIS VIDEO to find out what we mean.

   CLICK THE IMAGE for video.

CLICK THE IMAGE for video.

Remember, folks, wind turbines only work about 25% of the time at best. Plus, if you build industrial turbines on mountain tops where there is no existing infrastructure, then you ALSO have to build the transmission lines all across the state. The only thing that makes this scheme work is taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies. That’s right, YOU pay the freight, while the developers pocket millions and ruin Maine’s scenic wilderness areas. That’s why Central Maine Power raised its rates by almost 20% recently.

You can expect more increases into the future, unless the Maine Legislature changes course. During this Legislative session they refused to modify Maine’s wind goals. So if you like paying drastically higher bills, pat your state legislator on the back. If you think wind energy should LOWER your light bill, then tell your state legislator to make some changes --- fast.

WATCH OUR VIDEO and read this article in Forbes, “Wind Industry Study: Electricity Prices Skyrocketing In Largest Wind Power States.”

FMM probes --- is First Wind stiffing Mainers?

   CLICK ON IMAGE for video report.

CLICK ON IMAGE for video report.

(Portland, Maine) The voice of wind opposition in Maine, Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM), has been receiving reports that workers associated with First Wind’s industrial wind project in Oakfield may not be getting paid. In a YouTube VIDEO published today, the group issued a call to its network, asking anyone having more information about possible nonpayment to report it to the anti-wind group.

(WATCH: VIDEO LINK)

“We want to be on top of this information, because we’re bird-dogging it,” said Chris O’Neil, FMM spokesperson. “If they’re stiffing loggers and skidder drivers up there, we want to know.”

O’Neil said a recent decision by Maine’s supreme court could doom First Wind’s future in Maine, because the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has asked First Wind if it now has enough funding to finish four projects in the state worth $1 billion (See Portland Press Herald, “Maine DEP asks First Wind to re-prove its financial capacity,” 4/9/14). He said FMM will immediately forward any evidence of the company’s financial hardships to top officials at the DEP. To contact Friends of Maine’s Mountains, write to: MaineMountainFriends@gmail.com.

What will take to stop wind turbines in Maine?

Frankly, it’s going to take resources. Financial resources if possible, but especially time resources, human resources and communications resources. Friends of Maine’s Mountains is very pleased to introduce a significant upgrade to our website, a first of many steps as we continue to turn up the heat on the industrial wind lobby. Here’s a VERY SHORT VIDEO WELCOME, and we invite you to visit us often as momentum increases. As wind foes pool our limited resources and continue to collaborate across a broad spectrum of interests, our effectiveness will continue to improve!

   CLICK ON THE IMAGE to view a quick welcome video.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE to view a quick welcome video.