Letter to the Editor: Lexington, Concord residents have said ‘no’ to wind industry
The citizens of Lexington and Concord Townships have taken a stand. In 2008, without our input, our rural communities were haphazardly rezoned as “industrial”—but for one industry only; the wind industry.
Spain’s Iberdrola Renewables has its sights set on the mountain summits of these townships. If we were citizens in an organized town, we would have the ability to draft an ordinance to insure that our health, quality of life and property values would be protected from a massive grid-scale wind facility. But the Wind Energy Act effectively removed those voting rights from rural residents.
Without recourse, we decided to do what we could to ‘have a say’ about those important ‘quality of life’ issues which will so greatly impact us. A large majority of our residents signed petitions stating that we are opposed to an industrial wind development within our borders. With these ‘votes’ as our springboard, we submitted letters to Iberdrola and to the land owner, Plum Creek, asking them to respect our majority vote and abandon their plans to industrialize our rural townships.
Iberdrola chose not to respond to our letters. Plum Creek gave us the brush off, saying our ‘views’ would be heard as part of the permitting process. Plum Creek and Ibedrola have already ‘heard’ our views, which were signed in ink and submitted to the governor… but they have decided to discount our votes and leave our fates in the hands of the DEP; an agency which history shows has approved every wind development permit application to cross its desk.
We-- and citizens in Unorganized Territories all across the state-- must not be disenfranchised simply because we live in rural Maine. Our votes and our voices must carry equal weight as those of citizens living in organized towns.
Iberdrola Group chairman, Ignacio Galan, stated that “If Maine signals that it’s no longer friendly to wind power, the global energy company will expand elsewhere.”
Citizens of Lexington and Concord have sent the clearest possible signal. Our state government and the agencies which carry out its mandates can do no less than support the will of the people in Lexington and Concord. A foreign corporate entity must not have more rights than American citizens. Iberdrola should respect the resolve of the People and abandon its wind development plans for Lexington and Concord Townships.