In an executive order issued last week, the State of Maine Gov. LePage ordered “that no permits related to wind turbines are issued in the areas”. According to the executive order, the “noise and vibration caused by wind turbines”, ” the sight of wind turbines can affect property values”, ” wildlife will be affected by the wind turbines”, “the future estimated decommissioning costs of wind turbines are uncertain”, “siting wind turbines in the areas will have long term consequences to the tourism industry; and “the benefit from wind turbines are therefore uncertain”.
The executive order “create more uncertainty about the short-term future of wind power in Maine, which is seen by supporters as a key strategy to slowing climate change and fossil fuel dependency.”
Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said that widely circulated news of the moratorium and LePage’s bill can discourage wind development in Maine over a longer term. That’s because it can take up to five years to finance and build a wind farm. Investors and developers making decisions now about where to spend their tim”e and money might go elsewhere, Payne said.
Richard McDonald, a leader of local group ” Saving Maine anti-wind group” said that “There’s nothing wrong with our governor being responsive to citizens concerned about the expansion of wind development”.
According to local press reports, LePage has long opposed renewable energy in general, because he sees the associated tax credits and above-market power rates as subsidies that harm electric customers. More recently, he has contended – without evidence – that wind farms are a threat to Maine’s tourism industry.