Sunday, December 03, 2006

Just look at that ugly clean air!

This photo links from The Thing of the Moment, where there are many excellent photos of Mars Hill and other Maine places.

A pretty good article in today's Press Herald reported on locals' reactions to the Mars Hill wind power project, scheduled to start generating electricity this month.

Althouth the article's headlines in the front page of the printed edition make much of a supposed "controversy" over an "eyesore," the text of the article only reveals a few objections, which come off sounding relatively petty.

The Bangor Daily News, in its reports, has focused more on the town's tax benefits. Since Bangor's newspaper is a lot closer, geographically and politically, to Mars Hill, I'm inclined to believe that there's really less controversy than the Portland paper's headlines warrant.

Still, the Press Herald article brings up the point that the Mars Hill windmills will be a test case for other wind power proposals pending elsewhere in the state. One of those proposals, for Redington Mountain, does face some more serious opposition, due to its proximity to the Appalachian Trail. The Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Audubon Society, and Appalachian Mountain Club have all expressed their opposition to that proposal, not only because of visual impacts, but also because of the project's potential impacts to alpine zone habitats.

Considering that global warming is a certain way to eliminate all alpine habitats from the state within the next fifty years, these objections, while they have some merit, amount to an attempt to rearrange deck chairs on the Titanic.

Links to other wind-power projects and news:

  • Redington Mountain
  • A compromise proposal for Redington
  • A three-turbine proposal in Freedom, east of Waterville
  • Cape Wind, an offshore project near Cape Cod.
  • 1 comment:

    jkirlin said...

    I actually had gone to Mars Hill ONLY to see the wind turbines and I had spoken to some others who had also. So from my perspective, the turbines are a tourist draw. We even stopped for lunch at Al's Diner. Heh heh. They may be an eyesore to some but no one opposes their neighborhood powerlines, which as a photographer, I have learned to loathe. But still, as I noted, I use a little electricity every day and am quite fond of it. Mars Hill may be a poor test case for the opposition to use given that the mountain already has a ski area on it. It's far from pristine. But I found myself leaving there thinking there should be more turbines in Maine, not less.