Feb 4, 2010

Hot air in the pursuit of power: Island Institute chief lashes out at wind-injured Maine islanders

One can tell Phil Conkling's  been running his Island Institute for too long.  Again flush with cash, (MBNA's self immolation burned a big hole in the II's wallet for a few years), this time enriched by the electricity industry bucket-brigading the long green his direction, Conking's turned his back on the islands and islanders he once so earnestly swore to protect, back in the mists of time when he began his organization, decades ago, working out of a little white frame house on the Rockland waterfront - with CLF's fishery lawyers laboring quietly downstairs.  (MBNA smashed this icon years ago when it took over and took down Fisher Plow's old digs nearby).

Having  staked his fortune on joining in the Windrush with Angus King  - and shortly, John Baldacci , who's likewise discovered his future to be filled with wind -  Phil  is committed to aiding and abetting the  extraction of gigawatts of energy from the winds of the Gulf of Maine - enough to not only be used for lighting and electronics, but  also to use for the brute force use of electricity for heating residential and business buildings through Maine winters.

Now Phil Conkling is driven to distraction by residents of  islands like Vinalhaven and Monhegan complaining that their traditional way of life is being threatened by or already hammered by his literal pursuit of power. How dare they!

But rather than admit the crusty old islanders, the ones whose anecdotes and sturdy workboats  fill the pages of the Island Institute's monthly tabloid andits coffee table books,  have a right to their point of view, Phil has decided that the complaining  fishermen and other islanders are a minority on the wrong side of, if not history, at least II's revenue stream, and must yield or be shoved out of the way. Ditto for journalists who fail to swallow the II's spin.

Perhaps Phil should 'graduate' from the Institute and take a nice relaxing long rest on his laurels.

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