Residents of Maine's Unorganized Territory seek a place at the table as critical decisions are being made.
After being called out in a Jan. 14 letter by wind industry representative Paul Williamson (“Center for Public Interest Reporting’s story was misleading on wind politics”), I want to clear the muddied waters.
I spent the last two years working, unpaid, on legislation, not against wind power, but for the return of a right lost in the 2008 Legislature.
With the Maine Wind Energy Act’s passage, Mainers in parts of the Unorganized Territory lost their right to participate in planning and zoning decisions related to wind power siting in their communities.
Mr. Williamson is correct: I’m not a “sole individual.” I stand with many of my rural neighbors and other affected Unorganized Territory citizens.
Yes, we’re fighting a “good fight.” Fighting for your rights is always a good fight.
Yes, the affected Unorganized Territory citizens are a “minority” of Maine’s population. We’re the only ones in the state who were singled out for uniquely adverse treatment by the 2008 legislation.
“Well-funded”? Mr. Williamson obviously hasn’t seen our bank account. Other than a single $250 donation from a small land conservation group, every dollar we’ve ever received in our effort has come from individual citizens, not corporate donors.
Want to see “well-funded”? Go to the Legislature’s website and see the list of corporate wind development interests that testified against us.
You’ll see an equally long list of people who testified in our support, but you won’t recognize the names. They’re rural Mainers who drove hours to come to Augusta and stand up for themselves.
We’ll be back to continue the fight for our rights – the good fight. Mr. Williamson wants to shift public opinion against us, pitting Mainers against Mainers – a bad fight.
Protecting our basic rights is in the best interest of all citizens, even if corporations represented by Mr. Williamson think it’s bad for their bottom line.