I am the son, grandson, great-great-grandson and great-great-great-grandson of hydropower sawmill owners and operators. Although George Smith claims to be an advocate for renewable energy (column, Jan. 25), I believe his actions seem to indicate otherwise.

I remember a picture in the newspaper that showed Smith and then-Gov. Angus King fishing in the Kennebec River during their promotion of the removal of Edwards Dam.

The owners of the dam wanted to add 10 feet to the top of the dam at their own expense to get even more power. There was very little waterfront building clear to Waterville to hinder the expansion, and the dam was slanted so a fishway could have been built easily.

With Smith, King and others urging, however, this power-producing dam was taken out at a cost of more than a million dollars, and the dynamos and generators were sold to more forward-looking interests in South America.

Additionally, Smith claims to be for biomass, but he advocates for Roxanne Quimby’s huge forest park, which would have no or limited cutting.

I was heartened to hear Gov. Paul LePage, in his State of the State address, mention renewable energy and specifically hydropower, which is underused, easily accessible and made our state great in the past. In fact, many of our cities and villages were settled because of the abundant hydropower.

I am an advocate of all renewable energy.

Should we be handcuffed to a 20 percent renewable energy target, or go with the cheapest supply of electricity, which might include gas?

Albert R. Boynton


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