We did it, Folks—we have proven that First Wind is NOT unstoppable! Today, the LURC Commissioners voted unanimously to finalize the denial of First Wind’s Bowers Mountain Project! The project is DEAD!
This is the first time, EVER, ANYWHERE, that a First Wind Project has been denied a State Permit. This is also the first time since the Expedited Wind Permitting Law was forced on the People of Maine, that ANY wind developer has been denied a Permit in this State!
The tide is turning, and people are learning the facts. They are learning that big wind is a big scam, and that these useless, subsidy sucking monstrosities do not belong on the wildest ridge lines in the eastern United States. They are learning that the the damage to the environment, to the Rate Payer, to our quality of place, and to our TEN BILLION DOLLAR/170,000 JOBS, PER YEAR tourism industry simply is not worth the pidling amount of overpriced electricity and legalized bribes that the wind developers can offer in return. People are learning that their rights have been trampled to support a political scam.
Yesterday being Patriot’s Day, commemorating one of the most important days in the history of our Country, I received an email with the following quote. I believe it is appropriate to share it here and now:
“Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions — The Eyes of all our Countrymen are now upon us. … Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and shew the whole world, that a Freeman contending for Liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.” –George Washington, 1776
Today was a Victory not only for every Tax Payer and Rate Payer in Maine, but also for the Environment and for common sense. Today we let it be known that we WILL NOT bow down to the wishes of a well connected Corporate Mercenary, and that we WILL fight to preserve what is ours.
I would like to personally express my thanks to the LURC Commissioners and Staff who worked so hard, and who actually listened to The People and considered the evidence, before making their historic decision. [Something that the Maine DEP refuses to do for projects within their jurisdiction.]
This is a great day for America!
Below is the official Press Release from PPDLW, the folks who led this particular battle.
CONTACT: Kevin Gurall FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Gary Campbell
BOWERS MOUNTAIN WIND PROJECT IN MAINE
Project’s Unreasonable Scenic Impact on Pristine Downeast Lakes Region Cited
April 20, 2012
With today’s 5-0 vote, the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) handed First Wind Holdings LLC of Boston its first ever denial of a wind energy development permit. The project would have placed 27 forty-three story tall turbines on prominent ridgelines in Carroll and Kossuth in the Scenic Downeast Lakes Region.
“LURC’s decision to deny the Bowers project is true to its founding principles and Comprehensive Land Use Plan” said Kevin Gurall, President of the grass-roots opposition group Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed (PPDLW).
The area most impacted by the proposed project, the Scenic Downeast Lakes Region, includes a network of some two dozen lakes including Pleasant, Scraggly, Junior and West Grand Lakes. For more than a century, sportsmen and families from all over the country and abroad have come to the region to enjoy a wilderness experience devoid of industrial development. It is home to more than a dozen classic Maine sporting camps and boasts the largest concentration of Professional Maine Guides in the State.
In June 2011 LURC held a two-day public hearing on First Wind’s permit application. In a remarkable turnout for a small community, 374 citizens testified, over 90% of them speaking against the project. Opposition also came from The Maine Professional Guides’ Association, The Grand Lake Stream Guides’ Association and The Maine Sporting Camp Owners’ Association. Gurall explains, “The Scenic Downeast Lakes Region is almost entirely dependent on sporting- and nature-based tourism for its survival. Anything that takes away from the wilderness experience will affect tourism which will in turn cost many residents their jobs and their businesses. Clearly this is not the place to build an industrial wind project.”
The siting of the project was controversial from the beginning. Within eight miles of the project site there are nine lakes that the State of Maine has designated Scenic Resources of State Significance. Two of those earned Maine’s highest rating “Outstanding for Scenic Quality”. Four of them are within three miles of the project site. In its landmark decision LURC acknowledged that the decision turned on the project’s failure to meet the Wind Law’s scenic impact criterion.
First Wind’s Director of Communications, John Lamontagne, has said that First Wind will modify the application and resubmit it later this year. PPDLW spokesman, Gary Campbell responds “We are prepared and committed to defending the region again should they submit a revised plan. The folks who live and make their living in this watershed are convinced that it would be impossible to build an industrial wind facility here that would not seriously hurt the local economy. Even the LURC Commissioners went on the record to express doubt that First Wind can modify the plan enough to bring the project into compliance with the statutory scenic impact limits.”
Gurall continued, “We’d like to thank the LURC Commissioners as well as the members of PPDLW and the hundreds of Maine citizens who stood in agreement with us. Every day, more Mainers are waking up to the false promises of the wind industry, the extremely flawed Maine Expedited Wind Law, and the financial liability of these heavily subsidized projects. Just because this state’s previous administration gave away the henhouse, doesn’t mean that we should not or cannot go back and review, analyze, and make adjustments to the wind law. Nature-based tourism is so vital to the state’s economy that we cannot afford to risk it in order to feed an insignificant amount of high priced wind energy into the ISO New England grid.”