Bowers Wind LOSS foreshadowed by poll media ignored

(Portland, Maine) The anti-wind group Friends of Maine’s Mountains (FMM) said today that the decision by the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) to deny First Wind’s Bowers Wind industrial wind project came as no surprise.

“The answer was blowing in the wind, but I don’t think reporters have zeroed in yet,” said Chris O’Neil, an FMM spokesperson. “The more people learn, the less they like industrial wind.”

The BEP voted 4-1 today to affirm its rejection of the Bowers Wind project, a 16-turbine, 48 megawatt industrial wind factory proposed for Carroll Plantation and Kossuth, Maine. O’Neil said an anti-wind activist who attended the meeting reported that, “It was clear that the BEP was having none of the last minute attempt by First Wind attorney Juliet Brown to have the decision to deny remanded, thus enabling First Wind to go forward with a scaled back project. After dealing with that, the Board wasted little time in approving the draft order that upholds the DEP’s denial of project.”

The activist reported to O’Neil that he did not notice any reporters in the room.

O’Neil said FMM released poll results to the media just over two weeks ago, but no Maine newspaper, radio station or television station reported on the poll results.

In its semi-annual tracking poll, Critical Insights of Portland asked Maine people three questions about wind energy. The company completed 601 telephone interviews (including cell phones) with randomly selected voters across the state between April 16th and April 24th, 2014. Poll results (at this link) indicate that support for building industrial wind turbines declines appreciably when respondents learn that:

  • Building industrial wind turbines does not significantly reduce Maine’s reliance on nuclear energy, coal or oil;
  • Building industrial wind turbines in Maine yields only a negligible reduction in carbon dioxide emissions;
  • Maine may not experience positive benefits from the proliferation of industrial wind turbines on the state’s mountains.

“I know the media have limited resources, and I certainly sympathize. But as Mainers do their homework the state is turning into a hotbed of opposition. A movement is afoot,” O’Neil said.