It is a mighty thin pancake that has but one side.

In a recent mailing, the Maine Renewable Energy Association asks recipients to notify their elected officials of their opposition to the passage of L.D. 616. Supporters of the bill are described as a “small but vocal minority,” intent on denying to all Mainers the benefits of industrial wind development. Readers are told that bills like L.D. 616 seek to squeeze out new wind projects with bad policies. The “bad policies” are not explained, and for good reason.

When the Wind Energy Act of 2008 created “Expedited Permitting Areas,” it severely restricted the right of residents within those communities to speak out in open hearings regarding rezoning and industrial development. L.D. 616 provides a means by which a community can petition to be removed from that list, restoring to it the same rights enjoyed before 2008, and retained by most others in Maine.

The MREA knows this to be true. Its representative testified before the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee that the curtailment of resident rights was simply collateral damage, the voice of the people merely an added “layer of bureaucracy,” expendable in the name of expediency.

Investigate the bill. I believe the efforts of the MREA are both disingenuous and misleading, and that laws must apply equally to all. I encourage others to let their legislators know they support L.D. 616. We may be small in number, but we remain passionate in defense of our rights. Passage of L.D. 616 will help to restore our rights now and may protect others in the future.

Michael SmithTrescott

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