The Jan. 7 article by Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, “Sen. Alfond’s bill to help wind farm industry was written by developers,” was a poorly concealed hatchet job.

The piece made it seem as though those who oppose wind power in Maine are helpless victims of a system that favors big business.

Alan Michka is not a sole individual who is fighting a good fight against the Goliaths. The anti-wind coalition is a well-funded minority group that has organized to prevent beneficial development here in Maine. They fight development that over 80 percent of Maine citizens strongly favor, and that benefits Maine’s economy and environment.

Yes, Maine wind industry members have worked with legislators to draft legislation.

Likewise, Christopher O’Neil, a paid lobbyist and spokesman for the anti-wind development group Friends of Maine Mountains, has been directly involved in the drafting of a number of the anti-wind bills introduced in the Legislature in 2013 and 2014.

In addition, on Jan. 5, Mr. O’Neil told a group of citizens in Orland that he’s helped about 40 other Maine communities update their wind ordinances.


For better or worse, this is the way the system works now for both sides of wind – as well as for all citizens and industries.

Meanwhile, it was also reported last week that Franklin County had spent about $517,884 of the $4 million in tax increment financing benefits from the Kibby Wind Project since March 2012 to improve trails and scenic byways and other projects, along with granting scholarships.

As of September 2014, the county had received $2.29 million from the TIF, according to county officials.

That is the kind of news we need to hear more about to advance Maine’s rural economy and keep our communities healthy and vibrant.

Paul Williamson

executive director, Maine Ocean and Wind Energy Initiative


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