Allegheny Treasures is pleased to post this important email received from our friends at Citizens’ Task Force on Wind Power – Maine!
We fully support the call for each state to establish a “code of conduct” for the industrial wind business, as was done in New York and suggested by our friends in Maine.
The wind scam story is receiving progressively more sunlight and last week the Vinalhaven, Me story made its debut in the national press on national talk radio. There’s a good chance it is going to start getting some real traction in the national press. There are simply too many irrefutable facts for this not to develop into a national story.
In the meantime, let’s hope that the Maine media starts investigating some of the facts about wind power. How about starting with the fact that it doesn’t work.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire. The story today will likely interest many Mainers who heretofore were not following this story very closely. So this is a golden opportunity to blast the reader comments with the facts about wind power. Please keep in mind, the average person likely knows very little of what we take for granted. So please don’t overlook the basics.
Maine Sunday Telegram:
Wind power backers decry claims of conflict
As Maine rushes to embrace wind power, unnamed critics posting on Internet sites and reader comment pages contend that money and political connections – reaching all the way to the governor’s office – are greasing the skids.
A repeated theme, for instance, focuses on Gov. John Baldacci and Kurt Adams, former chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Adams served as Baldacci’s chief counsel. The governor appointed him chairman of the PUC in 2005. Adams left in 2008 to be a top executive at First Wind, the state’s most active wind-power developer. Posters allege that Adams has since benefited from his connections with Baldacci to gain permits and generous taxpayer subsidies for big wind projects.
The charge has become more persistent over the past year, as the pace of energy development has picked up in Maine, fueled by federal stimulus money, efforts to cut reliance on oil and strong support for renewable energy by both Baldacci and President Obama.
Some posters draw the First Wind genealogy more broadly, connecting Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, who co-chairs the Legislature’s Utilities and Energy Committee, and his wife, Juliet Browne, a Portland lawyer who helps First Wind and other developers through the maze of the state’s permitting process.
In interviews, Hinck and Browne defended their conduct and said their actions present no conflict of interest.
Even Lawrence Summers, a former treasury secretary who worked at an investor group that supports First Wind and now is President Obama’s economic adviser, is linked to what some see as the wind industry’s inside track in Maine.
Internet posters, he said, string together relationships to draw conclusions that aren’t supported by fact.
For instance: First Wind’s 57-megawatt project on Stetson Mountain in Washington County won $40 million in federal stimulus funds in September. Commenters call it a bailout for a project that’s not economically viable without taxpayer subsidies.
They assume the project benefited through a relationship with Summers, director of Obama’s National Economic Council. Summers previously was a managing director at D.E. Shaw & Co., a global hedge fund that has a big financial stake in First Wind.
But Adams said the stimulus money was available to any wind project that came on line during a certain time period. First Wind has said the $40 million will be reinvested in new projects.
“That’s the way the stimulus act is supposed to work,” Adams said.
Browne was appointed by Baldacci to a 2007 wind-power task force. The panel recommended rules that anti-wind activists say were rushed into law by Baldacci and the Legislature to make it easier for wind projects to be approved in certain areas. Hinck, as co-chair of the Utilities and Energy Committee, helped advance the agenda of his wife’s clients, they say.
Hinck said he voted to support the bill but didn’t do any extraordinary lobbying on its behalf. Asked if he should have recused himself from voting, Hinck said that would have been appropriate only if his wife were going to benefit directly.
“I don’t think it came anywhere close to being a conflict issue,” he said.
Kidder wasn’t aware of the wind-power cronyism charges. But in general, he said, accomplished people who are busy doing what they think is right in their jobs tend to have a blind spot to potential conflicts.
“The last person to see it’s a conflict of interest is often the actor himself,” he said.
END OF PPH EXCERPTS
Note: Geez, perhaps then Maine’s Attorney General, Janet Mills should establish a CODE OF CONDUCT for these wind companies, as NYS’s Attorney General Andrew Cuomo did. See:http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2008/jul/july15a_08.html
Unfortunately, despite repeated requests, Attorney General has not established such a code. Related, Janet Mill’s sister, Dora Mills, the head of Maine’s CDC steadfastly refuses to acknowledege the existence of peer reviewed literature with respect to the health effects of these massive towers on people.