Your excellent editorial (“A wake-up call to Maine,” Feb. 11) deserves an addendum. Since the passage in 2008 of Governor Baldacci’s signature “expedited Wind Law,” ratepayers have been subjected to lies and deceit by his administration, the Legislature, utility executives and its regulators. A gigantic fraud has been perpetrated on Maine residents, that being the industrial wind industry and its enablers.
Backing up to the year 2000, our Legislature broke up the utilities that had served us well for many years. Both Bangor Hydro and CMP were forced to sell their generating assets so that our power costs would be reduced. Selling stockholders and the insiders got a nice payday, but Maine folks got the shaft. After the bones of these once good companies were picked clean by NextEra and Florida Power and Light, Iberdola (Spain) and Emera (Canada) bought the carcasses consisting of transmission assets only. Now, in its infinite wisdom, the Legislature proposes LD 1513, a measure to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, enabling these same utilities to construct a new transmission line from Houlton to Pittsfield. In 2012, we ratepayers were saddled with a transmission rate hike of some 11.5 percent caused by the $1.5-billion upgrade called MPRP, Maine Power Reliability Project, which was needed to support wind power investments by the developers. In other words, the existing grid could not support the undependable wind-generated electricity. This time we are told ratepayers in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island will foot the bill for the new line. Since 1999, with the Maritimes and Northeast natural gas piplelines from Sable Island, N.S., to Dracut, Mass., to Governor Baldacci’s expedited wind law, Maine has prostituted itself to every conceivable special interest, to the total exclusion of and minimal benefit for its residents.
Maine was originally part of Massachusetts, and we act like we are still, but I would admonish Maine residents to rise up and show the wind developers the door. Let them try constructing these useless monstrosities in the Berkshires and see how far they get. I have yet to delineate the total crony corruption that has enabled this industrial wind disaster but here are a few nuggets to chew on.
Former Governor Angus King built his 22-unit wind farm in Roxbury, ruining one of Maine’s most significant pristine ridges and spoiling the views from one of our most beautiful river valleys. The project was facilitated by Rep. Chellie Pingree, but once he got his $407,000 success fee he sold his interest to MPBN cohort Robert Gardiner, enabling him to run for and secure his U.S. Senate seat with clean hands.
Not to be outdone, Governor Baldacci now sits in the vice chairman’s seat of Avangrid, formerly Iberdola USA, and owner of Central Maine Power Co. How cute! Baldacci crony Kurt Adams, former PUC chairman, accepted $1.2 million in equity units (stock options) from First Wind, a company he was supposed to be regulating. Attorney General Janet Mills saw nothing wrong with it, so it’s no wonder Governor LePage battles with her. I submit “the appearance of impropriety is just as bad as impropriety itself.”
Mr. Gray lives in the Rangeley Plantation