My husband and I have been members of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, believing in its mission to protect Maine’s environment.

Our enthusiasm dampened, however, when we learned that NRCM was one of 16 members of the 2008 Governor’s Wind Power Task Force, which recommended that 2,700 megawatts of wind capacity be developed on Maine’s mountains and ridges.

Highlights of what the conservation group supported as part of the task force:

* Construction of as many as 1,700 425-foot turbines sprawled across 300 miles of Maine’s landscape.

* A fast track of proposed wind power projects in all of Maine’s organized towns and one-third of the unorganized townships that truncates a full-blown review by regulators.

* Restrictions on what regulators can consider as impacts on nearby scenic values.

The task force said industrial wind will produce numerous green jobs, even though hundreds of acres are cleared for turbines, road and transmission lines, along with wildlife displaced and habitat fragmentation.

The current special NRCM newsletter outlines concerns that Gov. Paul LePage’s onslaught of legislative proposals to roll back numerous environmental laws and policies will weaken Maine’s environmental commitment.

“We need to push back hard on the false notion that wrecking Maine’s environment is necessary to create jobs,” NRCM states.

But that is exactly what will happen if 2,700 megawatts of wind capacity is developed.

Maine’s remote areas will forever change with 300 miles of turbines for the exaggerated benefits of wind energy. Tourism will suffer and huge areas of the natural landscape will be monopolized by wind developers.

It is hypocritical that NRCM is complicit in the destruction of hundreds of miles of Maine’s mountains and then has the nerve to say we don’t need to wreck Maine’s environment to create jobs.

Audrey Kalloch

Carrying Place Town Township

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