Mon, Jul 28, 2014 ●
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Letter: Wind series unfair to task force

Opinion

Letter: Wind series unfair to task force

I write to express my disappointment regarding a series of articles authored by Naomi Schalit of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting that did not accurately represent the efforts of the Governor’s Wind Power Task Force.

Gov. Baldacci established the task force with very general goals, recognizing that Maine’s regulations concerning wind power projects were outdated and in need of review.

He brought together a diverse group of individuals, including members who had recently opposed the Redington Wind Project. There were robust discussions, significant public input and an open process guided by a neutral facilitator.

After a year of work, the task force developed recommendations that the governor presented as legislation, which was unanimously adopted by the full Legislature.

There was nothing unusual about how the task force went about its work. It brought together different views, sought input, invited expert comment and worked for agreement.

Schalit wrote that the governor made “the unusual move” of sending me to urge task force members to issue a set of consensus recommendations. In fact, that is a normal move and was suggested by the task force chairman and the facilitator as a helpful tool to encourage members to work through tough issues.

I speak out because the articles convey an impression that there is something illegitimate about the task force and its work. That impression is unfair and does a serious disservice to the diligent and good-faith efforts by all involved to develop a path forward for both wind energy and environmental stewardship in Maine.

Karin Tilberg, senior policy adviser
Office of Gov. John E. Baldacci
Augusta