Monday, September 24, 2007

Renewable energy deserves a chance to go before the voters

Do you ever read a story from a newspaper or see a piece on the evening news about special meetings of town councils, select boards, or governing bodies such, let's sat, the Land Use Regulatory Commission (LURC) and find yourself wondering more people aren't solicited for ideas and suggestions? I'm betting you do and I'm better that some of you have read about the proposed wind farm in the Western Maine mountains.

Less than ten miles from where the wind farm would be built Franklin County near Sugarloaf ski resort, another large scale proposal was at the forefront of the news back in the late 1970's. The project was a proposed development of the Bigelow Mountain Range across Carrabassett Valley from Sugarloaf. developers wanted to create "The Aspen of The East" on the flanks of the towering peaks and came quite close.

As you can imagine, there were lots of people up in arms about this possibility. Why? Because the Appalachian Trail runs right over the summit of those mountains and would be interrupted. This was long before the LURC held meetings in the town, which back then had about 150 residents. (It's up to about 500 year-round now) After a lot of hooting and hollering, the proposed development went to a state-wide vote and failed.

My point is that if such a development was voted on by the whole state back then, why not allow the wind farm proposal to go before the voters of Maine?