Lexington, Concord and Highland Plantation Ask Gov. LePage to Protect Them From Wind PowerBy admin • Nov 17th, 2011 • Category: News
*Editor’s Note* The following is a press release from Friends of Highland Mountains. It is followed by a copy of one speech delivered by David Miller, a resident of Lexington Township, to Governor Paul LePage.
A majority of the residents of Highland Plantation and Concord and Lexington Townships are expressing opposition to the wind development plans of former Governor Angus King’s Highland Wind LLC and Iberdrola Renewables, a subsidiary of Spain-based Iberdrola SA, and the largest operator of wind turbines in the world. Highland Wind LLC is backed by the Yale University Endowment.
In an ongoing petition effort, a majority of the voting age residents have, so far, signed petitions stating their opposition to industrial wind development within their respective communities. In Lexington, seventy-seven percent (77%) of residents have already signed. Many of the communities’ non-resident property owners have also shown their opposition by signing the petition.
In 2010, Ignacio Galan, chairman of Iberdrola Group, told the Portland Press Herald that “If Maine signals that it’s no longer friendly to wind power, the global energy company will expand elsewhere.” Alan Michka, a resident of Lexington says “The Concord and Lexington petitions make it clear that these communities are not friendly to Iberdrola’s plans. Hopefully, Iberdrola will make good on their threat to expand elsewhere. Certainly, they’re not welcome here.”
Many Maine towns have passed ordinances that effectively restrict wind power development within their borders. Plantations and unorganized townships such as Concord and Lexington, however, have no legal means to protect their communities with such ordinances.
“If 51% of the registered voters in any Maine town came out against a wind development, it would not be permitted,” says Karen Pease, another Lexington resident. “It simply would not be built. Period, end of story. In this case, we have 77% speaking in opposition. Rural areas of Maine have been targeted for industrial development, and citizens who live here were not allowed to have a say before these Unorganized Territories were rezoned. Our communities have spoken decisively. We do not want grid-scale wind facilities to be built within our borders. We must not be disenfranchised simply because we live in rural Maine.”
At the conclusion of the press conference, copies of the petitions will be delivered to Governor LePage’s office along with a letter asking the Governor to use his executive powers to remove Highland Plantation, Concord and Lexington from the state’s Expedited Permitting Area (EPA), thereby fully restoring the voice of residents and property owners in the future of their communities. Removal from the EPA does not prevent wind energy development, but requires the developer to secure approval for a change of zoning, an action that allows the residents to weigh in on the proposed change. Petition results and an appeal for support will also be delivered to key legislators, state agencies and the Somerset County Commissioners in an effort to draw their attention to the residents’ effort to protect their community from the negative impacts of industrial scale wind development.
Copy of Speech by David Miller
My name is David Miller; I am 69 years of age and currently live in Lexington TWP, Maine. I am married to my high school sweetheart Linda Drake and we have 4 children and 10 grandchildren. We both grew up here in Maine as had our forefathers. I joined the Navy right out of high school and retired from it after a wonderful career. After, I worked for the Department of the Navy as a contractor through TRACOR, Inc. where I became the Lead Engineer for the Submarine Tomahawk Program. After that program was completed, I then moved over to McLaughlin Research Corp as a contractor where I became a Project Manager for the Fast Attack Submarine Periscope Program of the Electromagnetic Division, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI. My wife and I returned to our native state of Maine to retire after over 39 years with the Navy.
We came “HOME” to retire and enjoy our great love of the outdoors. We love all the traditional Maine sports and have been happy with our decision to return to Maine after so many years of absence. That was until our state government sold us out to foreign and domestic interests and greed. Our state representatives passed legislation that affected those of us who choose to live in the Unorganized Territories’ of Maine, which took away our rights by restricting the authority of the Land Use Regulation Commission to represent and protect us from massive wind development that will destroy our heritage and way of life. It will also destroy our rural economics and forever change our landscape.
Our residents do not want this massive destruction of our way of life (sic) and is reflective in the fact that over 75% of our Lexington citizens have signed petitions to stop this development. As a past President of These United States said “Tear Down That Wall” we say “Don’t Tear Down Our Mountains”.
Lexington TWP, ME 04961