Mar 18, 2010

Maine legislature holds fate of Gulf of Maine ecosystem in its hands

Friends of natural Maine fisheries, 

We will be running the Utility and Energy Committee work session on the ocean windfarm bill LD 1810   live on WRFR FM community radio, Thursday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm 
Tune in to the hearing in Rockland at  93.3fm. In Camden  99.3 fm and live on the web at 

If you can make it to the work session. Let the committee members know that you are a fisherman or  a sailor, etc and that you are there to offer information if they need it. The legislators will probably call on you. 

If you can't go and haven't had a chance to contact the two committees that need to hear from you  Here are details and email addresses below. Note that the legislators are checking their email DURING the hearing on laptops. If you send them something DURING the worksession, they will read it, and it will affect their vote.
-Ron Huber

How to Stop Energy Industry Takeover of Maine state waters fishing and sailing groundsby doing a quick email or two by Thursday mid-afternoon.
Fire off a trio of emails to the three legislative addresses below, between now and 2pm Thursday, and you may be the one who tips the balance and puts a hold on the terrifying energy industry-written legislation LD 1810 the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force that is poised to Close Maine's Marine Commons.
This bill "land rushes" open all Maine state waters to absentee ownership of industrial scale multi-million dollar renewable energy extraction leases, for industrial scale wind, tide and/or wave energy extraction operations.  Maine's low budget Bureau of Parks and Lands would grow into a economic and political powerhouse, and happily lease out Maine fishing grounds to industrial scale wave, wind, and tidal energy extraction fields.  

In short It would close much of Maine's Marine Commons and reopen them to investment leasing for wind, wave and tidal energy extraction. Read LD 1810 with the nearshore waters' parts highlighted (pdf)  

That's right. What is being considered in this terrifying bill, introduced near the end of the legislative session is nothing less than the Closing of Maine's Marine Commons. As an "emergency" bill, no less, so the energy industry could rush in right away this summer and start snapping up Maine state waters in  massive million dollar transferable leases.

By email. tell the following sets of legislators that LD 1810 needs to be turned into a resolve, shopped out to  the  schooner fleets, scallopers, shrimpers, groundfishermen, lobstermen, charter boat operators, other sport fishermen, coastal camps and resorts and other water dependent businesses. THEN come back, a year from now, with a new and improved version that respects the existing users, human and natural. 
Otherwise, tell them, just give LD 1810 an Ought Not To Pass. Back to the drawing board. 

Email the Utility & Energy Committee Clerk Kristen Ask her to forward it to the committee's members. She will. 
Ditto for Marine Resources Committee Clerk Marianne MacMaster  Be sure to mention LD 1810 in the subject lines.

Email Maine's Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree at Representative Pingree represents the fishing towns of Brooklin, Deer Isle, Stonington, Swans Island, Frenchboro, Tremont, Isle au Haut, North Haven and part of Mount Desert Island.  As Speaker of the House of Representatives, she is Everyone's Legislator. Let Representative Pingree know what you think.

In closing: 
Every State of Mainer who's ever worked groundfish, lobsters or scallops agrees on one thing: 
Never Give Up Ground.

That was true at Gettysburg; it should be true right now, as the South once again tries to invade the North. Corporate powers, this time, but just as dangerous.

Stand up..

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