Nov 15, 2010

Maine coast fishing grounds to be divvied up for wind energy corporations Tuesday by fed & state officials meeting in Augusta

The future for Maine sea fisheries is getting foggy.  There seems to be an aggressive attempt by the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation; Enforcement, (BOEMRE) to close the marine commons off Maine in waters 3+ miles offshore.  
On the morning of November 16th,  BOEMRE hosts its second meeting of its  Maine Ocean Energy Interagency  Task Force in Augusta . The meeting starts at 10am and ends 12:30pm  in Room 228 of the Statehouse (the Appropriations Committee room)   READ AGENDA (I page pdf).     
TOPIC: Continued negotiations with state officials on closing  the ocean commons off Maine and  leasing it to the energy industry. Read the "charter" between Maine and the federal agency. Location. State House, Room 228 Augusta. Open to public.   Read details of the federal bureau of ocean energy's Maine program.

To listen to the meeting streaming online, go to this legislative committee room audio link from 10am to 12:30pm on Tuesday November 15th

If you  wish to listen to the meeting by phone/ conference call, you may do so toll free by calling 1-887-930-6875 and using Passcode: 2197783 when prompted.

A webinar will be used during part of the meeting. For additional information,  contact Matt Nixon: (207) 624-6226 or by email  matthew.e.nixon AT maine.gov

This is a followup to  BOEMRE's September 14th meeting in Belfast. (info and audio)
At the Sept 14th meeting, the state and local federal officials assembled were told to bring maps to the November meeting. Maps with locations that could be leased to monopile windfarms - windmills blasted and pounded into the seafloor. These are the type that Angus King and his cronies would like to profit by building close to the coast.

However, Maine's government and state university have chosen not to pursue that type of ocean windfarming.  Instead they have opted to develop floating deepwater windmills far offshore -out of sight of coastal residents and their scenic economic resources, and away from nearshore fishing grounds and sailing areas.   The University of Maine and its DeepCwind Consortium have received at least 40 millions in federal funding to (1) carry out their R&D, (2) produce a first prototype and (3) build and deploy a full sized deepwater floating windmill, connecting by cable with the mainland somewhere in New England.

So there are tensions going into the November 16th meeting.  Maine's agency representatives may end up surprising officials of BOEMRE's offshore wind power division by declining to map out hundreds of square miles of seamounts and ledge-filled submerged wildlands. Doing otherwise would only facilitate a windrush of speculators like Mr. King. 

Maine should follow the lead of its scientific community and focus on ocean energy solutoins that do not harm the very economies they purport to be helping.

If you are unable to attend and wish to listen to the meeting online, you may do so at: http://www.maine.gov/legis/ofpr/appropriations_committee/audio/  A webinar will be used during part of the meeting. For additional information, including details on how to view the webinar, contact Matt Nixon: (207) 624-6226 or by email  matthew.e.nixon AT maine.gov

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