It’s said that investors can tolerate anything but uncertainty, and that’s what opponents of wind power development appear to be counting on.

After eight years of solid support from Maine’s governor and growing backing of green energy projects in the stimulus bill by the federal government, wind power looked like a good investment to the private sector and a number of projects got under way.

But now, with a change in control from the Democrats to the Republicans in both Augusta and Washington, that support is uncertain. It’s not that Gov.-elect Paul LePage is hostile to wind energy, or that the Republicans in Congress have become radical environmentalists on this one issue, but they have been unclear about whether they will continue their predecessors’ stance in relation to green energy.

This uncertainty should end soon if Maine doesn’t want to scare off potential investors.

Our next governor, who has said repeatedly that he is pro-business, should clearly voice his support for this business, which has the potential to play a key role in Maine’s economic future.

The arguments against wind power break down into two main categories. The first is aesthetic (with both visual and aural complaints) and the second is economic, made by people who say that wind energy is too expensive and can’t be harnessed without government subsidies.


While the second charge may be true, at least in the short run, it has also been true for hydroelectric dams and other new kinds of energy generators.

As wind power becomes established and the technology improves, new investment won’t need the subsidies.

And the price of power is relative. There is no guarantee that natural gas prices won’t spike, making wind power a lower-cost alternative, even if its price does not go down over time.

Maine is a state with an over-reliance on one source of energy and has a natural resource in wind that would be marketable in the region to states that are looking for energy from renewable resources.

What Maine needs is a clear statement from its new governor that he and his party in the Legislature will continue to support responsible wind power development in the state, putting the uncertainty to rest.


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