March 29, 2020
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Comments for: Mainers would win with renewable standard

  • Anonymous

    Propaganda passed along as fact. Yuck.

  • Anonymous

    How can they guarantee a decrease in rates if as it says electricity rates are unpredictable?

  • Anonymous

    The Environment Northeast study is an econometric model that has nothing to do with a direct cost sensitivity analysis of adding generating capacity.  What the MCCE is not telling the public about the initiative is that CMP and Bangor Hydro will be forced to enter into long term fixed price contracts with these “New Renewable” projects at energy prices required to permit the projects to get financing. With the loss of DOE loan guarantees and the 30% Investment Tax Credit the projects will be treated as if  “junk” investments by the capital markets. This will double or triple their financing cost which will be passed onto the ratepayers in the range of 5 to 10 cents per kilwatt hour. The EN study doesn’t even address the need to add transmission capacity to serve all these projects. With Maine already generating 50% of its power from renewables this is all a big sham to enrich a few at the expense of the many.

    • Anonymous

      This article is an example of what blind people dream of and what  it looks like. Al Gore hit trouble spots at Harvard, especially in one semester of his sophomore year when he received one D, one C-minus, two C’s, two C-pluses and one B-minus, reports presidential historian David Maraniss and POSTIE Ellen Nakashima. “That was the year Gore’s classmates remember him spending a notable amount of time in the Dunster House basement lounge shooting pool, watching television, eating hamburgers and occasionally smoking marijuana.” Gore placed in the lower fifth of his Harvard class for both his freshman and sophomore years. “For all of Gore’s later fascination with science and technology, he often struggled academically in those subjects. The political champion of the natural world received that sophomore D in Natural Sciences 6 (Man’s Place in Nature) and then got a C-plus in Natural Sciences 118 his senior year. The self-proclaimed inventor of the Internet avoided all courses in mathematics and logic throughout college.

      • Anonymous

        CoolF: An interesting tidbit but you have strayed off topic and Gore isn’t worth the space. If you want to dig up some helpful background information find out why over 50% of the “cash” and  “contributions-in-kind” given so far to Maine Citizens for Clean Energy is from out of state including Dogpatch Consulting in New Hampshire. Karen L. Hicks is a “campaign field strategist” who usually works on Presidential and Senatorial campaigns (e.g. Howard Dean, John Kerry, Jeane Shaheen). Who is paying her to give her time to this group?

      • Anonymous

        That is funny in a sad sort of way. Jeremy Payne must have done even worse at his community college to believe his own misinformation. A ridiculous piece of bovine excrement. 

  • Anonymous

    I see crows everywhere. Let’s put them
    in cages, let them flap their wings, generate
    wind, power batteries and voila…electricity.
    The price of each crow…$1000.

  • Penny Gray

    Where does does Mr. Payne, come up with this stuff?  Where’s the scientific proof for any of his claims?  Bentek debunked the theory that industrial wind lowers CO2, the European experience with industrial wind has shown two jobs lost for every job gained in the industrial wind field, and Europe’s electricity costs have tripled, driving businesses out and bankrupting economies.  President Obama himself said that his green energy initiatives were going to cause energy rates to skyrocket.  Mandating Maine ratepayers to support such unfounded “renewables” claims as lower electricity costs, cleaner air and being able to use wind power to heat our homes and power our cars is not only irresponsible, it’s clearly a  special interest agenda, one that is NOT in the best interest of the rate payer.  Hydro power is clean, powerful, reliable and renewable.  If water isn’t considered a renewable in this state, wind and solar should be removed from the renewable mix as well.  Let the rate payer decide if they want to support the wind developers by opting to pay a higher rate for their electricity.  Mandates like this are unconstitutional.

  • I am with Gov LePage; “Renewable energy mandate pads pockets of special interests”.
    The best and most economical renewable, hydro power, is left out of the current and proposed mandate mix for Maine.
    Ask yourself why hydro is left out of the mix and you will then see Jeremy Payne for what he really is, a lobbyist and shill for those standing to make huge profits off Maine rate payers.

    • Anonymous

      @yahoo-T6SIHWKU2RKGLEAFYACM6SFC2Q:disqus If you look at the membership list for Mr. Payne’s organization, you’ll see that he represents hydropower producers and all other renewable electricity producers.

      It is really painful to read so much cynicism based on misinformation in these reader comments.

      • Anonymous

        Wind power development rides on a cushion of misinformation, as exhibited in Mr. Payne’s piece.  

        That’s painful for the people who are living with the negative impacts of wind turbines built too close to their property.

        Mr. Payne has testified before the legislature to ensure that no relief from wind turbines is given to Mainers that might negatively affect his wind industry clients. 

        • Anonymous

          @armichka:disqus Why is it all about wind power?  There are other forms of renewables.

          Painful negative impacts of wind power? So, I’m curious what do you  make of this?

          Wind Turbines Annoyance Not Hazard

          Direct quote from the study they are writing about:

          is no evidence for a set of health effects, from exposure to wind
          turbines, that could be characterized as a ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome.'” Page 56

          • Anonymous

            Well, I’m concerned that the panel responsible for that report was assembled by an administration that is vigorously promoting wind power.  (Think Governor’s Task Force on Wind Power Development in Maine.) 

            I’ve only scanned that report so far, but I did notice that one of the panel members was Dora Mills, who’s already on record as a wind power advocate.  A second panel member is a professor and director of the Wind Energy Center at U of Mass.  It does raise eyebrows.

            It appears their report doesn’t really break any new ground, mostly just literature searches and reviews like the AWEA report in 2009.  However, the panel does seem to suggest a set of nighttime noise limits for wind turbines that are more restrictive than Maine’s.

            Since we’re citing reports, what do you make of this report from the Oregon Office of Environmental Public Health (OOEPH) earlier this month?  (Oregon has more restrictive noise limits for wind turbines than Maine.)

            From OOEPH:

            1. Sound from wind energy facilities in Oregon could potentially impact
            people’s health and well-being if it increases background sound levels by
            more than 10 dBA, or results in long-term outdoor community sound levels
            above 35-40 dBA. The potential impacts from wind turbine sound could
            range from moderate disturbance to serious annoyance, sleep disturbance
            and decreased quality of life.

            2. Chronic stress and sleep disturbance could increase risks for
            cardiovascular disease, decreased immune function, endocrine disorders,
            mental illness, and other effects. Many of the possible long-term health
            effects may result from or be exacerbated by sleep disturbance from night-
            time wind turbine sound.

          • Anonymous


            Is Dora Mills on the record as a wind power advocate or has
            she just pointed out that there is no scientific/medical basis for the claims
            about wind power causing health problems? 

            Agreed that it is a bit odd to have a director of a wind energy center on a
            health panel.  Perhaps he provided insights into the way that turbines
            work and create sound?  Who knows.  If it was up to me, I wouldn’t
            have included that person.  But, s/he is just one person on a big panel.

            I have not reviewed the Oregon study in any detail, but the quotes you point
            out make me ask these questions:

            1.  What else results in “long-term outdoor community sound levels
            above 35-40 dBA?

            Chainsaw @ 3 feet- 110dB
            Diesel Truck @ 30 feet 90dB
            Busy Road   @  15 feet 80 dB
            Vacuum Cleaner  @ 3 feet 70 dB
            Conversational speech     @3 feet 60 dB
            Average home 50 dB
            Quiet library 40 dBA


            Another one with slightly different examples that still makes the point that 40dB is VERY quiet for an outside environment.

            2. Presumably stress caused by being totally committed to stopping something that most people think is a good idea can also create the same symptoms.  Perhaps we should have a study done on the health problems created by being anti-wind power?

          • Anonymous

            On her website – no longer available as far as I know – Dora Mills wrote supportively of wind power in addition to dismissing health issues based on a few references to older papers.

            On point 1. The sound pressure levels you cite are irrelevant, really.  Noise intrusion is much more complex than just making comparisons to measured sound levels of common noise sources.  (interestingly though, Dora Mills did this very same thing on her website to try and prove that noise couldn’t possibly be a problem for people living with wind turbines.)

            I live in rural Maine and I can tell you unequivocally, that I do not listen to any of the noises you list at night with my windows open.  I can also tell you that any of those noises that I hear in the daytime are brief and intermittent.  If I had a vacuum cleaner running all night outside my window, yes, I might be complaining.  So, these types of comparisons are really not valid.  It’s an apples and oranges thing.

            On point 2.  How does this explain the pre-construction support of wind turbines given by those who eventually became sufferers of post-construction wind turbine noise intrusion?  If I’m not mistaken, there was pretty strong support initially for the Mars Hill and Vinalhaven projects by those who eventually had problems with the turbines.  

            If you live in a more developed area, I can understand why you might not really understand the noise issue.

          • Anonymous

            @armchika:disqus Yes, it is a good thing you don’t have a quiet library outside your house.  It might cause sleeplessness.  C’mon?

            I included all the other items for context, but this is really the only one that makes sense to relate to the 35-40dB standard you pointed to in the Oregon report.  As you know 10 dB is a doubling of sound level.

            But forgive me, this is more complex than just sound levels.  It also has to do with distance.  A vacuum cleaner outside your bedroom window all night might cause you some distress.  But what about one running 1/2 mile away?  This is basically what we are talking about with wind turbines.

            Do you think you would even notice if you had a new neighbor move in 1/2 mile a way and started to run appliances all night that had equivalent sound levels and characteristics as wind turbines?  Maybe if their house was  400 feet tall  and you hated the way it looked, but this is a different argument, one that is far more subjective.

            Infrasound, right?  Not according to the MA study.  Wind turbines don’t even make infrasound strong enough to be detected by humans.  Besides, infrasound isn’t bad in and of itself.  Here are some other sources of infrasound that people would pay a premium to sleep near:  Ocean waves.  Waterfalls.

            Just because someone says that they were supportive before they were opposed doesn’t make it true.  Nor does it have anything to do with what I was saying.  Negative feelings about something and total obsession with that thing is bound to make you feel stress.  I heard a story about someone who was talking to one of the folks in Mars Hill who is convinced that the turbines are too loud and annoying.  This person had his back to the turbines, suggested that they were very loud right at the moment and asked if the person he was talking to could hear them.  They weren’t even spinning at the time.  Third hand story, but pretty telling if it is true…

            Anyway, we are way off topic here.  This article was about increasing the renewable standards, not about wind power exclusively.

          • Anonymous

            Well, I’m not familiar with any household appliances that have the same sound characteristics as a wind turbine, so I’ll just let that one lay there.

            Our noise debate really points out how pointless it can be to argue over something as nuanced as sound.  None of us is really in a position to tell someone else that a particular noise is not annoying.  Everyone responds differently.  Some very quiet noises can be extremely annoying.  Some louder noises can be pleasant.  And so on and so on.
            There must be some reason, though, why we have regulatory noise limits virtually everywhere.  Maybe it’s because it’s recognized that certain noise levels can be annoying or disturbing.  Why does the DEP currently limit nighttime noise levels in rural areas to 45 dBA just outside your home if, as your chart shows, a harmless conversation 3 feet away is 60 dBA.  Sound/noise are not just perceived volume; they have qualitative and contextual elements, as well.  It shouldn’t be oversimplified for the sake of expedience – or politics.

          • Anonymous

            When the Rumford Medical Center staff reviewed the literature on wind turbine noise in February of 2009, they concluded that Maine should have a moratorium on new wind projects until the noise issues were studied and understood.   In response Dora Mills,  the state’s chief medical expert,  emailed the DEP and asked for help in refuting the claims of the hospital staff.   She professed to not know much about the subject,  yet she never bothered to investigate the complaints of Mars Hill and Freedom residents when the turbines started spinning.   She is hardly a neutral participant in the Massachussetts study.

          • Anonymous

            None of your examples are considered long term. That you question Dora Mills creds as pro wind shows me you are very new to this windsprawl question. Ever hear of Mars Hill? There were 17 lawsuits recently settled. They were not given freebies for nothing ,and of course there are gag orders so nobody will find out how much was granted. 

    • Anonymous

      LePage makes up fake numbers about the cost of renewable energy and people fall for it.

      He has no credibility – none

      LePage needs to show us his math and assumptions – the pro-renewable folks have done their work with transparency.


      not so much


      • Anonymous

        Transparency?  Can you give me an example?

  • Anonymous

    Mainers, be wary of referendum initiatives being pushed by industry lobbyists.  Mr. Payne’s wind industry clients give their loyalty to their investors; the well-being of Mainers is not their job nor their concern.

    • Anonymous

      @armichka:disqus You seem to prefer non-renewable energy – even though it is more expensive, getting more so, pushed by fossil and nuclear industry lobbyists who neither live in Maine nor care about our citizens, and FAR more harmful to people and the environment.

      • Anonymous

        Quite the contrary.  I support renewables that make good sense and don’t require exaggerated sales pitches or government mandates that force consumers to support questionable energy sources.  

        Fortunately, about half the electricity generated in Maine today already comes from renewables, something Mr. Payne does not mention.  In fact, over 50% of Maine generated electricity came from renewable sources prior to the construction of the first wind project in Maine.

        Mr. Payne implies that the referendum he’s pushing gives Maine a renewable portfolio standard of 20%.  He  doesn’t tell his readers that Maine already has an RPS of 35% which increases to 40% in 2017.  He wants to increase that to 50% by 2020.  The “new” renewables he’s really talking about is wind power – the industry of the clients for whom he lobbies.

        Mr. Payne also doesn’t mention that, in Maine, to be considered a renewable, the generating source can’t be over 100MW – unless it’s wind power, the industry of the clients for whom he lobbies.

        I don’t oppose renewables.  I oppose bad choices on renewables made using bad information.  I oppose slick sales pitches  that play off the best intentions of people to trick them into supporting something that isn’t really what it seems.  I oppose lobbyists trying to change the law to benefit their industry clients, using Mainers to do it by promising them benefits that are exaggerated, or fabricated altogether.

        • Anonymous

          @armichka:disqus Indeed, we get a significant portion of our power from renewables today.  Our prices are the lowest in the region.  How about some more?

          It is all about opposing wind power for you, that much is clear.

          If the sources should be bigger than 100MW, lets change the rule.

          All the stories slung about by those vehemently opposed to wind power is so full of the things you say you oppose — exaggeration, fabrication, trickery.  Worse though, they make it a personal battle and throw in all kinds of attacks. 

          Funny though, the people who spread this stuff around TRULY believe it.  No matter how many times scientific information that refutes their positions appears, they prefer the emotional response that justifies their behavior.

          • Anonymous

            EIA reports that the average Residential rates Y-T-D thru October 2011 were lower in Rhode Island and Massachusetts than in Maine. EIA also reports that of the generation in those two state’s renewables represented 1.63% and 5.87% respectively. So much for your earlier comment that renewables are cheaper.

            Please cite your sources of the scientific information that refutes “their positions”, and AWEA is not a credible source nor any of the organizations that parrot their website.  

          • Anonymous

            @JustAGnome:disqus Classic example of exaggeration by cherrypicking information.

            Agreed (after I just looked up the info on again on the EIA – that the price of electricity for residential users in Maine has been slightly higher in ME than in MA and RI this year.   Thanks for the correction. 

            But, the prices for Industrial and Commercial are lower – Industrial rates are a lot lower.  So, the overall rates for the State of ME are lower than all other states in New England.  

            What do you have to say about the lower overall rates?

            As for other sources of information that refute anti-wind activists?  Take a look at my other post on this article  with links to the MA Dept. of Environmental Protection’s new study on wind power’s (non)health impacts.

          • Anonymous


            The anti-wind power folks have no credibility – if they think wind turbines are “ugly” I can respect their (highly subjective) opinion.

            But the stuff they make up to support their position is laughable nonsense that is easily refuted.

            But, no matter how much information you present to them, they still believe their fabrications and exaggerations.


          • Anonymous

            Well, I’m ready.  Refute anything I’ve written here today.

            I ran down each of the links you listed the other day on another comment section, but not a single one actually supported the statements you made.  So, please be careful when you’re condemning others’ statements while holding your own as indisputable.

          • Guest

            Some local M00nbats were telling people, (especially older people and people who already had chronic health conditions),  that wind turbines located even miles away would  give them cancer and make them sick in multiple ways.  The “invisible energy waves” would affect their minds and they wouldn’t even know it was happening.  There was more and worse….

          • Anonymous

            Well, wind power is the only renewable, as far as I know, that has been given it’s own special set of relaxed siting laws.  We had wind power development in Maine prior to the laws being changed to accommodate wind development interests.  In fact, the majority of Maine’s currently operating wind capacity was permitted prior to this “greasing of the skids.”  

            So, would you be willing to put wind power back on a level footing with other renewables?  Get rid of the 100MW limit on non-wind renewables and abandon preferential wind permitting.  I’m not opposed to wind power wholesale, I just don’t think it deserves special treatment that NO other energy source, renewable or otherwise, receives.

            Please tell me what I have written here today that is an example of exaggeration, fabrication or trickery?

          • Anonymous

            You’ve been good today.  So no clear cut examples of those things.  Penny Gray’s comment is so full of them that it doesn’t warrant a reply – who has the time anyway?

            I guess the thing that gets me about your posts is that you assume it is all about wind power.  There is nothing in this proposed law that puts wind above other renewables.  It is all your bias that is doing that.  A deep breath and a willingness to listen to what the science is saying might do you some good.

            Putting wind power back on a level footing with other renewables?  What does that even mean?  Most of the good hydro sites in Maine have been developed.  Some are being torn out instead of being fixed to allow fish passage and energy production.  This is a problem.  Solar has yet to take off in Maine, but perhaps this law will help it to do so.  Tidal is coming along, but not yet scaled up. But the fact that the law has been changed to allow wind power to be developed in some places that it was previously not allowed without a complex zoning change has nothing to do with whether or not solar or hydro or tidal are developed.

            I would prefer that all energy sources competed on the same set of variables, so long as those variables include ALL the costs to society.  Renewables as a whole would have no competition if people understood the entire context of health and environmental problems created by fossil and nuclear energy.  Maybe windpower wouldn’t/won’t compete quite as well in the long run as solar power.  Solar power prices are coming down fast as well and their annoyance factor may be lower – though people are still fighting them too.  Tidal may become a much bigger player some day, lets hope so.

          • Anonymous

            There might be nothing in the proposed referendum that explicitly favors wind power, but Maine does give it preferential treatment.  (Expedited wind permitting and 100MW exception for wind power).  Therefore, the referendum does effectively favor wind power.  Let’s face it, we know where the real development pressure is right now and it’s not  solar, biomass or tidal – it’s wind.

            By level footing for all renewables, I mean no more relaxed scenic standards for wind power.  No more relaxed noise standards for wind power in the LURC jurisdiction.  No more requirement that siting authorities consider the state’s arbitrary wind power goals in permitting decisions.  No other renewable gets these kinds of considerations.

            I think we all really want the cleanest energy possible within a realm of reasonable economic, social and environmental acceptability.  I’ve been suggesting the “take a breath” approach for quite some time.  Most of the controversy we’re experiencing over all of this today could probably have been averted if we’d gone more slowly with this in the beginning.  The haste and the urgency  are manufactured and just not necessary.  If all of this is so important to our state in the long term, why not stop and take a broader look in the short term?

  • streamweaver

    If  Maine Citizens for Clean Energy (MCCE) is motivated by what is good for Maine, why does this initiative specify that in order to count the renewable energy must come from NEW sources?

    I’ll tell you why:
    At a time when everyone is waking up to realize that wind generated energy is a scam, wind developers like First Wind, Angus King, Iberdrola, Patriot, etc. are desperate to create guaranteed future demand for their projects. The MCCE initiative is nothing more than a stimulus package designed BY wind developers, FOR wind developers, masquerading as touchy-feely “green-is-good-at-all-costs” legislation.


  • This issue gets pretty technical and I happen to know IN FACT, that wind power is cheaper. Just ask CMP if they miss MY $180.00 a month. The biggest factor that sways my vote however is WHO supports it. Once I saw that Gov LePage does NOT support it, I threw my resources in favor of it. The only thing I really have to go on is that LePage is already a PROVEN liar, so I’ll take my chances with this.

    • Guest

      Sounds like you have your own wind turbine.

      Size of system? 
      Battery backup and how large?
      Total cost of system?  And that includes the rebates, not your final cost after subsidies.
      Other modifications to home required by changeover and their cost?   Things like having to replace an electric stove with a gas stove.  Same for water heater or dryer.  any other changes to house or life style.

    • Anonymous

      Wow, you’re logic ( or actually lack thereof) is mindboggling. 

    • Anonymous

      I bet its not 500 ft high. I will get off the grid as soon as possible. The price is getting too high .

  • “help wean us off unstable fossil fuels”…..Maine’s electricity has one oil fired turbine.

    “new renewable” nice!! leaves out all the hydro in place before the RPS

    “energy efficiency”  ah the Efficiency Maine program…already part of GRID’s rate hike.

    GRID scale WIND does not reduce cost for rate payers in Maine…GRID scale WIND sells to Mass rate payers at $100 a kwh

    “hundreds of jobs created” temporary , mostly our of state workers..

    Will not lower rates…subsidies will run out.

    “More energy dollars kept in Maine”   no  ..Jay Cashman is from Mass and sells his WIND to Mass.

    “dropping rates by 2020 abd 2030”???? please Mr. Payne,  you know turbines last about 15 -20 years.
      maintenance alone will drive rates up.

    “Maine struggles with unemployment”  as the governor says….electricity rates is a key to bringing jobs to Maine and staying here.  I do not think businesses want to wait til the year 2030 for Maine’s electrical rates to lower.

    “pollution Free”  Mr. Payne ought to go to China and really see the mess turbine building makes.
    Mr. Payne knows Maine cannot maufactur turbines…..too much pollution.

    “500 volunteers”  these college kids are paid 75 cents a signature.

    The mill my husband works at was hit at the end of the day…a work was cold….workers admitted to signing without reading because they wanted to get home…..shame.

    The recent poll Jeremy talks about does not have 75% of Maine voters agreeing to WIND.
    If BDN shows the questions to that survey again the reader will see where FIRST WIND paid for the WIND question.

    “Maine needs clean air”  go ahead, clear cut those ridges, herbicide those transmission lines. and then file for open land in the guise of conservation so Jay Cashman’s can get out of paying 95% of their property taxes.

    Geeze Mr. Payne I wish i could get payed to write the things you do.

    alice mckay barnett an 8th generation Mainer.   lived off the GRID for 12 years now…it is quiet.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Payne, I find it very offensive that that you think the average Mainer is so stupid that they can’t see through your BS.  You’re the lead front man for the commerical wind industry in Maine and you want us to think that anything you say is based in truth as opposed  to being based in profits for your clients ….you know, the folks that pay your salary! 

    One things is sure about Mr. Payne, if his mouth is moving he’s not telling the truth.  

  • Anonymous

    Balanceandreason states thar Mr. Payne also represents hydropwer interests and that hydro is a renewable resource. Well, not exactly. The wind power corprations convinced the maine Legislature to decree that hydro  from Quebec is not to be considered a renewable source, therebt ensuring that Maine will not be thtreated by a massive source of truly cheap and enviornmentally benign energy.

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