So the supercommittee couldn’t make a go of it. Is anyone surprised?
The committee should have been made up of businesspeople, not politicians who are more concerned about being re-elected than doing what they are elected to do.
The dark side of wind
I have the advantage of living off-grid with alternative energy, including wind power, and so I am able to gain a clearer perspective of the technology.
The grid-scale units are going into the transmission lines and it becomes a cap-and-trade market instrument. I get the business piece, but what about transparency, civil accountability and downright moral process?
Grid-scale units need 200 gallons of hydraulic fluid on average every six months. Their scale will require continued expensive maintenance; they need to tap back into the grid when the wind’s not blowing in order not to destroy the bearings holding up the propellers. This is just the science end, but how do they save money?
What’s disturbing is the way these projects were legislatively expedited by way of LD 2283. There was no respectful civil process and the people of Maine were completely left out, where they planned these projects with 15 years of previous deliberations.
The homes, health and value of the lives of the people are not up for negotiations as potential collateral damage. These decision makers who are responsible for current outcomes and challenges we are facing obviously did not apply the “do unto others” principle we can’t afford to deliberate without in order to obtain sustainable solutions.
Ron Joseph seems to have a unique talent: the ability to quote me on things I have never said. In his recent OpEd, “LURC under assault by governor, GOP” (Bangor Daily News Nov. 22), Joseph says, “[Senate President] Raye and Nutting, while claiming to be open-minded, previously have stated their intent to abolish LURC, handing land use authority to county commissioners and local people in the Unorganized Territory.”
It’s an interesting point. The only problem is it isn’t true. I have never said that I support abolishing the Land Use Regulation Commission.
What is true is that I voted in favor of forming the LURC Reform Panel, which is now in the process of holding hearings around the state to reassess the mission of the commission and determine whether it is meeting the needs of those in the Unorganized Territories. I was also responsible for choosing four members of the panel, who represent a variety of interests in both the public and private sectors.
I have long believed that those who live in the Unorganized Territories have a right to be heard on local control issues. They are finally getting that chance.
What the final outcome of the panel’s work will be is unclear.
And while there are many differing opinions on what the ultimate fate of LURC should be, I, contrary to what Mr. Joseph says, am keeping an open mind.
House Speaker Robert Nutting
A bad egg
Apparently Roxanne Quimby and national park supporters in this age of “if the response is no, then knock down the door until you get what you want” won’t take “no park” for a response.
For Mainers, whose state government seems to have frequent budget shortfalls, a Katahdin area national park with whatever low- to modest-paying tiddly-wink souvenir-selling jobs might crop up is not likely to do much, if anything, to raise Maine’s per capita income average.
The idea for a national park is like cooking an egg on the sidewalk on a 100-degree Maine summer afternoon. It will cook slowly, but when it is done it won’t taste good.
Richard Mackin Jr.