Protestors to picket Norwegian ocean windfarm meeting in Portland on December 8th.
|STATOIL is here! Will they plunder Maine's offshore wind ?|
South Portland, Maine. Tomorrow's meeting of the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in South Portland will have an unexpected beginning, as demonstrators concerned about Norwegian energy giant Statoil's ocean windmill plan for waters off Maine greet incoming meeting goers with a variety of signs and props, near the entrance to the event's location, the Marriott Sable Oaks Hotel.
1. They feel betrayed by US Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar. On August 18th, Salazar promised that there would be no windmills in "Fishery Sensitive Areas".
Yet the area chosen by Norwegian state-owned energy giant Statoil, say protestors, is well known by fishermen and scientists alike for its important role in transporting the larvae of lobsters, scallops and other seafood species down the coast of southern Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
"There's nothing more sensitive than this part of their life cycles" said Ron Huber of Penobscot Bay Watch. "Disrupting them could cost millions in lost fishing income. What is Salazar thinking?"
2. Norway is risking American fisheries. Norwegian research shows that energy extraction by ocean windmills generates large localized upwellings of seawater beneath the ocean windmills, "sufficiently enough that the local ecosystem will most likely be strongly influenced by the presence of a wind farm." according to Norwegian meteorological researcher Goran Brostrom.
When ocean wind mills operate, millions of gallons of water are pulled from the seafloor to the surface.
"It seems that Statoil is proposing ocean windfarms here because it is better to risk Maine's coastal marine ecosystem than Norway's. Why not do its experimenting off its own coast?"
3.Norway's King can help. Huber said a letter is being sent to King Harald V of Norway, asking that he convene an international colloquium or conference to get to the bottom of the upwellings issue.
"His Majesty is extremely knowledgeable about ocean windpower. He neds to understand It is vital that this important knowledge gap be filled, as nations around the seven seas are poised to start setting out thousands of ocean windmills. Only someone of his stature, credibility and influence can make such a conference happen. This is portant to carry out to prevent any major marine ecological blunders by well meaning nations seeking renewable energy."
4. Maine citizens will not be allowed to speak or ask questions on the record during the event. While the decisions made at the BOEM meeting will affect all Maine citizens, and will cover areas that of vital importance to fishermen and environmentalists alike, those citizens are banned from speaking during the daylong event.
"This is a disgrace and a slap in the face to all Mainers." Huber said. "The federal government and a foreign government are going to decide the future of the waters off Maine and we citizens are to keep our mouths shut?" Huber said that he and other demonstrators will have their mouths taped shut while attending the meeting, to get the point across.
"They tried this last year," he said. We complained to Olympia Snowe and Governor Baldacci, and they changed their tune. Hopefully, Governor Lepage has the pull that his predecessor has and can let Maine people speak at this event."
For more information on Maine and offshore wind Click here