The following is a letter to the editor from Rep. Reagan Paul (R-Winterport):
As a member of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology (EUT) committee, it is unfortunately customary to be expected to vote on legislation that comes before us with very little information provided.
LD 1895 “An Act Regarding the Procurement of Energy from Offshore Wind Resources”, sponsored by Sen. Mark Lawrence (D-York), is no exception.
We had no idea what the costs to ratepayers would be, what the environmental or economic impacts were (even though the sponsor admitted there would be an impact to Maine’s residential electric bills), if decommissioning planning and funding were in place, what the impacts to the local economy and culture were going to be, as well as impacts on property values and the noise, sound, and air pollution impact, etc.
In addition, the bill that was presented during the public hearing was very different from what was actually passed, due to various substantive amendments.
In reality, there was no public comment for the bill that passed the last day of the legislative session and has since become law.
For those reasons, the actual stakeholders impacted by this bill are holding an informational meeting to voice concerns and to learn more about the proposed project.
The Searsport Offshore Wind Port Meeting will be held on November 18th at the Searsport Community Building from 9am-12pm. It be a time to hear from the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the New England Fishermen’s Stewardship Association, and former energy advisor in the governor’s energy office, Jim Labrecque.
A Question & Answer session will follow their presentations.
Everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about this project and what it means for the Gulf of Maine.
That includes those who want the port on Sears Island, those who want the port on Mack Point, those who want the port anywhere but Searsport, and those who would like to see the project permanently discontinued.
It is not too late, but we cannot remain silent anymore.
It is high time we stop dividing ourselves among Rs and Ds if we want to protect our coast from permanent devastation and being ravished by a potential man-made ecological disaster.