Letter: Arguments for wind power in Maine don't fly

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In her recent Forecaster Forum, “Wind Yields Major Environmental Benefits for Maine,” Environment Maine’s Emily Figdor claims Maine’s wind industry avoided 534,700 metric tons of carbon pollution in 2012. That’s a misleading overstatement.

According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Maine industrial wind projects operated, on average, 24.27 percent of their stated capacity in 2012, avoiding far less than the 534,700 metric tons of carbon pollution claimed by Figdor. Figdor’s numbers are based upon 100 percent production capacity.

By comparison, it takes only 1 percent of Maine’s 1.4 million acres of forest to capture as much if not more carbon pollution annually. Figdor is clearly distorting the facts in favor of wind developers.

Regarding Figdor’s claims of billion dollars of investment in Maine, let’s not forget these investments are heavily subsidized by taxpayers in the form of federal loan guarantees and billions in lucrative tax credits – more than $13 billion since 2009. These hidden costs are never mentioned by Figdor. Again, she’s misleading.

The truth is wind power is a grand financial scheme, milking the public while making millions for investors and destroying some of Maine’s most treasured assets. And the millions of tons of menacing carbon pollution supposedly avoided by wind turbines are not nearly as menacing as the blatant promotion of misleading information from organizations masquerading as environmental groups that receive direct funding from the wind industry.

It is time for Mainers to start understanding the truth about industrial wind and stop being mislead.

Richard McDonald