Here at FMM we get lots of praise from supporters who appreciate the good work we do in protecting Maine’s economy and environment. But we get some unfriendly mail too, as well as some fair inquiry. Check out the note we recently received, and the exchange that followed it:
“Hello friends of fossil energy. Say hi to the Koch brothers, or, at least, their bag man.”
FMM: Dear Mr. _____
Please look a little closer. Just because FMM opposes grid scale wind energy does not mean that FMM favors “fossil energy.”
Thank you. FMM
“What do you favor in regard to energy?”
Hello Mr. ____
Good question. We often discuss "energy" and electricity separately. For overall energy, that which is the best balance of clean, affordable, and sustainable.
Specifically for electricity, the same, although electricity generation in Maine is light years ahead of overall energy. For instance, Maine CO2 emissions from Transportation are about half of all Maine CO2 emissions. That is four times as much CO2 as from Electricity.
In answer to your question, and as it concerns electricity, we ask why so many people presume that massive change is needed. Maine's electricity CO2 is third least in America, and the Maine Renewable Portfolio Standard is the highest in the nation. 99% of Maine electricity generation is from clean sources other than coal and oil.
Wind does nothing to replace or even displace conventional generation. If we want to help close dirty coal and oil plants elsewhere, it cannot be done with wind, which has the dual fatal flaws: intermittent and unpredictable. Higher-quality tidal energy for instance is intermittent, but it is entirely predictable. Many higher quality renewables could do the job, and indeed they do.
In short, Maine wind energy is not sustainable, useful or necessary. It is expensive and it requires expensive transmission infrastructure too. Its impacts far exceed its benefits, so it should be avoided.
Thank you for taking the time to ask. FMM
“Gov. LePage disabled offshore wind by scaring off Statoil.You still aren’t being specific about sources you would find acceptable.”
Hello Mr. _____
You asked: "You still aren’t being specific about sources you would find acceptable."
To repeat, we find "acceptable" that which is clean, affordable, sustainable, useful, and necessary. One might argue that wind is somewhat clean, but it falls short of the other criteria.
Your question presupposes that we want or need to drastically change that which we have. What we have is excellent. Unfortunately Maine Yankee is gone, but Maine, as noted earlier, adapted well to that loss. Your question and apparent premise is like asking the Patriots' coach who he wants for a quarterback. He's likely to reply that he's pretty satisfied with Tom Brady.
As for Statoil, FMM was pleased that they abandoned Maine (whether they were "scared off" or not). Their “research” project was not useful, necessary, sustainable, or affordable. The above market rates they were awarded by a PUC mandate were five times the market rate -- for a tiny amount of low quality electricity. One of the world's largest oil companies, Statoil pours plenty of its own money into R&D where it thinks it can realize a return. Statoil did not need to get a $200 million gift from the working people of Maine, and their retreat proved that they would not have “invested” their own money in the project, probably because there was obviously no return on investment.
Thanks again for your interest.