Library filed under General from Maine
Two dozen residents Tuesday night heard a state official explain the implications for taxpayers of the wind-power project proposed by Clear Sky Energy LLC. Mike Rogers of Maine Revenue Services gave an overview of what a sudden increase in town valuations would mean to the town and taxpayers.
Selectmen are considering limiting the number of turbines that wind developers can place in town - in projects well into the future. Selectman Jeremy Volkernick broached that issue during a discussion Thursday night on whether to reinstate a few pages of language requiring developers to have operational licenses.
People at the protest opposed the turbines' environmental impact on remote areas of Maine. Several wind power projects are proposed for areas of Somerset County. "They just don't belong on the mountaintops," said one activist, 72-year-old Dick Roberts, of Dixfield. Wearing a green felt hat with a feather in it, he said he has enjoyed hiking portions of the Appalachian Trail throughout his life.
"They are doing an awful lot of damage to our quality of life, our mountains. I don't think it's going to lower the cost of energy. I think in 10 years we're going to be like Sweden and Denmark and we're going to be swearing at ourselves."
Wind power may provide some economic return for some residents, but the overall cost to the community far exceeds the benefits. Invoking visions of old-time hucksters with mustaches and top hats working out of the back of a wagon, O'Neil accused those who spoke in favor of wind power of "selling snake oil."
The longtime selectman said he has been unable to eat and sleep because of the bitterness over the issue and accusations that he has lied and has accepted money from wind power contractors. He and others have said the campaign against wind power has broken with the town's tradition of civil debate.
Documents obtained Monday night by the Bangor Daily News through the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the town's attorney advised selectmen to look the other way as wind testing equipment went up on the mountain. The selectmen then told Eolian that site testing activities "will not result in enforcement action by the Selectmen of the Town of Frankfort, so long as the activities occur on property that Eolian ... owns or has an interest in."
Members of Maine's Land Use Regulation Commission gave tentative approval Wednesday to a 19-turbine wind farm in rural Hancock County, but the project faces some obstacles before a final vote next month.
The neighbors' lawsuit charges that the decision by Maine DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) on June 30th meant to resolve the year and a half controversy of noise violations by the turbines was arbitrary and capricious and driven by political meddling at the highest levels of Maine government against the recommendation of its own regulatory staff.
Project might interfere with sacred religious ceremonies dating 10,000 years
By a 5-0 vote, selectmen agreed Thursday night to extend the current moratorium on wind power projects another 180 days. The current moratorium expires on Monday, July 25, after which the new one will begin. Getting to that decision, however, took a lot of off-topic discussion during a public hearing and the regular board meeting that followed.
"This is a great fleecing of America," said Mike Thurlow, whose North Road home looks out at the Rollins site, "our tax dollars are subsidizing this project and probably our tax dollars will wind up taking these down when they've spent their time on our mountains after our mountains have been basically raped."
"The worst thing is when we see all those blinking [turbine] lights at night. We came here for nature, not for industry," Egle said. "We are tourists. We brought in money, lots of money, to the state of Maine, and that will be lost from Maine. Now we are looking to move to Canada, or maybe Alaska."
Selectmen listened Wednesday night as Wind Ordinance Committee Chairman Dan Perron aired his distress over the schism developing within his subcommittees and the main Wind Ordinance Planning Committee, Administrative Assistant Cyndy Norton said.
"Two groups should stand together to protest the ribbon-cutting of the soon-to-be operational wind project: people from the Lincoln Lakes region who are affected by the project and people from all over the state who strive to stop the proliferation of industrial wind power in Maine," said Brad Blake, a leader of the Friends of Lincoln Lakes.
It would allow turbines on residential and commercial properties if they meet certain height, sound and setback restrictions and don't "substantially obstruct public views." Jean Fraser, the city planner who put the ordinance together, called it "conservative" compared with turbine regulations in other cities.
LURC has the ability to curtail the gold rush of wind developers, feeding at the trough of federal and state subsidies, before Maine is transformed from a wild and bucolic paradise to an industrial wind wasteland. For the magic of the mountains, let's hope they do their job.
EUREKA -- If local proponents have their way, the North Coast may be tapping into water, wind and fire to slip the bonds of energy dependence. But it was a cross-examination by attorney Juliet T. Browne, who represents Champlain, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based First Wind, that might have helped Corrigan’s case against the project when her questions led to an admission from scenic consultant James Palmer that wildlife guides might lose customers if the project goes forward.
In his initial lawsuit, Huber said the designation of waters off Monhegan as a test site violates his constitutional rights to practice his religious stewardship of Penobscot Bay.
The unbroken horizon of water, woods and sky is an essential part of their brand, the guides say. It's a reason generations of sportsmen come here. The guides fear that views of turbine towers on distant ridges and blinking lights in the pitch-black sky will offend visitors who value the feeling of wilderness, and prompt them to go elsewhere.