Library filed under Tourism from Maine
LePage’s spokeswoman said her office cannot comment on pending litigation. But in announcing the executive order last month, the governor said steps were necessary to protect Maine’s scenic beauty from “out-of-state interests … eager to exploit our western mountains in order to serve their political agendas.”
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday placed a moratorium on permits for most new wind turbines in Maine, a move that could reverberate regionally a day before Massachusetts is set to announce winners in a massive clean power procurement plan.
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday placed a moratorium on permits for new wind energy generation facilities. He also said he will submit legislation this year that would eliminate an expedited permitting process that is currently in law.
Three state representatives and a senator join local officials in fighting new turbines and transmission lines.
Four area members of the Legislature have joined county commissioners in Somerset and Piscataquis counties in opposition to proposed industrial wind projects in the Moosehead Lake region as a threat to the area’s tourism-dependent economy.
The Maine Tourism Association provided this testimony in support of Maine bill LD 901, a bill that calls for a I5-mile buffer zone and visual impact assessment on expedited wind energy development in order to protect some of the most popular tourist desitinations in the State. Maine tourism supports 16% of the state's employment and brings in $8.8 billion in total sales annually.
But the project was dealt a major setback this week when the U.S. Department of Energy awarded the UMaine-led project just $3 million, a fraction of the $47 million grant it sought over the last two years. Projects in Oregon, New Jersey and Virginia received larger grants.
Will Maine be positioned to be a world tourism leader and destination because it wisely assessed these viewsheds and their greater economic value and set them off limits to wind power and other transforming, fragmenting development? Or will Maine's economy be bankrupted by the rush to industrialize its most valuable assets?
Currently, there are three industrial wind projects being planning between Mayfield Plantation and Sisk Mountain in Chain of Ponds Township. Those projects, along with the constructed Kibby project, would result in a combined total of at least 200 industrial wind turbines that would cover about 23 miles of mountaintops. ...Iindustrial wind development has a long reach when it comes to visual effect.
As a tourist who visits the area, I notice what is transparent to most locals, and for me the skyline of Fairhaven is priceless. If the citizens of Fairhaven allow the wind power project to be built at the current proposed location, I believe you will be making a terrible mistake. The town may gain some money in taxes and offset some electrical energy costs, but it will not offset the loss in green space and, more importantly, the beauty of Fairhaven's historic charm.
I feel that your paper's endorsement of the wind project is based upon an incomplete understanding of its impact upon the western mountains' nature-based tourism.