March 22, 2018
Opinion Latest News | Poll Questions | Maine chefs | Paul LePage | Nor'easter

Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012: Negative political ads, wind turbine fires and praising LePage

King of the hill

As a business owner in Brunswick and member of the Southern Midcoast Chamber of Commerce, I was angry to read in the Portland Press Herald on July 26 that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce purchased advertisements to influence the Maine U.S. Senate race. Their target is the frontrunner, independent Angus King.

The U.S. Chamber has a mission to support only Republican congressional candidates and “will spend $100 million to influence elections this year.”

The U.S. Chamber seems one-sided in its efforts to support pro-business candidates rather than candidates who have a grasp of all local, state and national issues and remain independent of party interests. More importantly, if they looked at each candidate with perspective they would learn that, “During his terms as Maine Governor, King focused on economic development and job creation. He also affected significant reforms in education, mental health services, land conservation, environmental protection, and the delivery of state services.”

For more on what he has done for Maine, visit his website at

All Chamber members aren’t Republicans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not representing all business owners equitably and ethically. I support the election of King.

He is intelligent, trustworthy, honest, disciplined, has great integrity and will do the right thing for the state of Maine and its citizens. As our U.S. senator, King will be a formidable leader and speak for the principles of Maine and not for the dictates of a political party or political action group.

Anne V. Marr


Extensive precautions

Notwithstanding Clyde MacDonald’s list of anecdotes in his July 30 column, extensive precautions are taken to deal with the possibility of fires at wind farms. The reason for this is simple: fires threaten the safety of workers. They also cost wind farm operators money, in staff time, potential turbine damage and lost production. This provides a very strong incentive for operators and turbine manufacturers to keep fires from happening.

The sophisticated equipment in turbines, subject to constant motion and sometimes challenging environments, can sometimes fail. Safety measures to prevent fires include systems that change the pitch of blades to prevent overspeed, temperature monitors and automatic shutoff systems to prevent overheating, lightning protection and remote shutdown. Also, wind farm operation is monitored continuously by an operations center, and incidents such as fires are quickly noted and dealt with.

In the event of any emergency, the owner/operator and any other subcontractor working on a turbine or wind farm will have an emergency response plan which includes contacting local emergency response teams, fire companies and police, if necessary. Many such programs also include preplanning and training with local emergency response teams. This planning helps limit effects to both adjacent turbines and the surrounding landscape.

Sensors and data acquisition systems make it possible to analyze why a turbine shuts down or fails. This leads to continuous improvement in technology, operation and maintenance. As a result, wind turbines are remarkably reliable, with 38,000 in operation in the U.S. alone, and very few failures.

Tom Vinson

Senior director of federal regulatory affairs

American Wind Energy Association

Washington, D.C.

LePage best governor

I have watched and listened over the last couple of weeks to the outcry by some over the recitation of the term “Gestapo” by Gov. Paul LePage. His euphemistic use of the term to describe his opinion on tax collection by Internal Revenue Service agents for Obamacare violations was not as far off as you might think. “Gestapo” is defined as “a secret-police organization operating especially against persons suspected of treason or sedition and employing methods held to be underhanded or terrorist.”

What I find appalling is not the governor’s “tongue-in-cheek” use of the term, but the reaction by those who sat by silently while President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were called Nazis, among other hateful names, without a hint of condemnation from those same people.

Recently, one poor, misguided soul asked LePage to resign for his use of the descriptive term. That citizen would be well advised to remember that the governor’s choice of words became acceptable when the left-wing and liberals stood by silently, while others were insulted with far-worse terminology and for hateful political reasons.

The governor’s explanatory term is probably more right than wrong. But, it is too late to be complaining now, since you allowed the language standard to become acceptable over the last decade. You are the ones who established the new First Amendment precedent, not LePage.

The bottom line is that LePage is probably the best governor in our state’s history. Get over it. Remember history. Remember the standards you set before exercising your hypocrisy again.

N. Laurence Willey, Jr. Esq.


Innovation for a greener tomorrow

Many modern-day conveniences that keep our society running efficiently are products of oil-based industries. Being used to this level of comfort, we often neglect the consequences of oil drilling. As a college student, I’m concerned for the quality of life that will affect future generations, and I am always looking for ways to support engineering plans for a greener tomorrow.

Offshore wind is one of the best domestic resources we have to lessen our dependence on oil. We have plenty of potential offshore wind energy in Maine and the engineering plans in progress to make it a reality. However, a problem in this method is financing, and without an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) it will be very hard to incentivize investment in this industry. Without that investment, we cannot bring offshore wind power to a cost-efficient scale.

Under current law, the ITC for offshore wind expires at the end of 2012. That is why H.R. 3238 is so important. H.R. 3238, Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act, is a bipartisan bill that would provide a 30 percent ITC for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind placed in service. This bill rewards the first movers in the industry, incentivizes development and sends a clear signal to investors that America and Maine are committed to producing clean and domestic energy.

Without the proper financing this precious opportunity to create clean energy could be lost. This is why it is important for Maine’s entire Congressional delegation to support the passing of H.R. 3238 as soon as possible.

Gabe Borland


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like