Mar 23, 2010

Maine state waters - NO WINDFARMS ALLOWED!

The Windmill wannabes got their heads handed to them today!  Maine state waters will remain free of windfarms, the state legislature's Committee on Utilities and Energy decided today, by completely  revamping the controversial ocean windfarm bill LD 1810 "An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force"  

Originally LD 1810 called for nearly uncontrolled wind power leasing of Maine state waters.  But under the sustained barrage of letters, emails and petitions from commercial fishermen, and the equally sustained  and unyielding presence at  the public hearing and two worksessions of Maine Lobstermen's Association's executive director Patrice McCarron,  that notion vanished from  the bill.

Instead,  Maine's ocean wind energy plan is to "leapfrog past" already heavily used state marine waters as well as the first seven miles of federal waters outside the state marine boundary. 

The changes came in the wake of voluminous opposition from Maine fishermen, coastal campgrounds, and other coastal nature-dependent businesses, who, unlike the private property owners plagued by windmills on land, all depend on sharing a public marine Commons that would be  effectively "closed" by the issuance of wind farm leases to utility corporations. 

The legislative committee will meet Wednesday March 24th at 2pm for a final vote on the bill, which is being held up overnight while final details are ironed out on competitive bidding for those offshore wind developments ten+ miles out.  That, however, will have no effect on the state's decision to keep windmills out of state waters.  

Following that, the bill moves to the full legislature, where easy passage is predicted.

Message from Maine state waters to windfarm wannabes: Back Off.

1 comment:

Astrig said...

Ron, thank you for the updates and the continual work you and others did to keep our state waterways available to the small business owners that keep Maine "afloat"...generations of us are grateful.
Astrig and Steven
Searsport Shores Ocean Campground