As the Republican co-chair of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, I wish to respond to a recent, misleading column by Steve Thurston (“Land-based wind won’t offer enough power to justify its downside” Aug. 24).

The work that has gone into setting our energy policies has been sound. The expedited permitting process for wind projects attracts new investment and opportunity in a clean, healthy, competitive energy industry.

The claim that because projects are appealed they should be considered bad for the state is simply ridiculous. The law allows for appeals, but so far all of them have failed because the claims made were not based on solid footing. Repetitive complaints that are set aside should not be the basis of our policies.

While some communities have enacted moratoriums, many others are welcoming wind projects. Woodstock is excited about getting an additional $400,000 per year in tax revenue from its wind project because residents will see a reduction in their tax bills and/or a beefed-up road maintenance fund.

Wind power has been a real boost to Maine’s economy: $1 billion of investment; hundreds of construction jobs each year for eight years; dozens of operations jobs; and profitable seasons for local motels, restaurants and vendors during and after construction — all during some of the most trying financial times in our history.

As we tap our wind resource, Maine becomes more competitive. Unlike fossil fuels, wind is a local resource providing us stability. There is no cost for the wind that turns these turbines. In contrast, we have no control over the price of oil and natural gas, which will run out some day.

Wind power is subsidized at much lower rates than fossil fuels. In fact, total support for fossil energy over the last 50 years dwarfs support for renewables. Meanwhile gasoline prices continue to rise while wind powered electricity rates are falling.