Today the State of Maine issued an order calling for a re-examination of Maine's embattled "Wind Act" and its "expedited" permitting for destructive industrial wind projects.
The order includes a de facto moratorium on permits for new wind projects until a commission can make recommendations about the Wind Act, now that Maine has ten years of experience with a land use of unprecedented scope and scale: industrial wind.
Friends of Maine's Mountains (FMM) had urged the Governor to act decisively before a Massachusetts selection committee announces preliminary winners in a historic Clean Energy RFP. That committee has said it intends to make those announcements tomorrow, January 25. There are some very attractive bids in that RFP, but there are also several ominous bids that propose massive Maine wind buildup.
"The original Wind Task Force a decade ago embarked with untested assumptions, false presumptions, and unrealistic expectations," said FMM Chairman Rand Stowell.* The Wind Act, one of Maine's most sweeping laws ever, sped in only a few days through the legislature without debate and without a single dissenting vote (see graphic below).
Stowell further said "It was 'garbage in - garbage out' and we've been fighting to overturn a horrible law ever since."
"Most of us thought wind energy was a great idea because it was going to get us off oil, save the planet, improve the economy...it was a 'can't miss' until we learned that none of that was going to come to fruition because of wind energy. After ten years of struggling under an ill-conceived law, now Maine knows the massive impacts are just too high a price to pay for such minimal benefits. The Expedited Wind Law been Maine's worst policy boondoggle since Car Test. This commission is a good chance for Maine to correct its mistakes."
The original Wind Act called for 3000 megawatts of installed wind in Maine. After achieving a third of that goal, Stowell said "Mainers now realize that there is simply no more room for industrial wind in Vacationland. We have had enough. Over 100 Maine communities have learned the facts and then taken action to protect against wind encroachment, so today's order recognizing Maine's frustration comes as no surprise. Because Maine is already doing its part to combat climate change, there is no rationale for destroying our Quality of Place."
* For a stunning 3-part journalistic investigation into how The Wind Act was rushed into law, see: