CLIMBING EVEREST: 62,000 signatures and several million dollars

Our network should know about an important meeting on May 2. As you recall, FMM’s longtime supporter Dan Remian has been working on a statewide referendum campaign that seeks changes to the Wind Law. Saving Maine has teamed up with Dan to host an informational meeting in Freeport that you might want to attend. There’s no information about the meeting on the Saving Maine web site, and they appear not to have a Facebook page or Twitter account, but if you drop us a line at MaineMountainFriends@gmail.com, we’ll be happy to forward you the invitation.

Friends of Maine’s Mountains’nonprofit tax status prohibits us from engaging in political activity, but we plan to be there. For the better part of a year now, with Dan leading the valliant charge, a major Saving Maine priority has been gathering signatures on an initiative to amend the 2008 Wind Act. They need 62,000 signatures to get this initiative on the 2016 ballot, so it’ll be very exciting to hear how much progress their effort has made. Given that the deadline is just a few months away, by this point they’re more than likely just a few thousand short.

Of course getting the signatures is the easy part. There will be major political challenges in convincing voters that the Legislature can make the referendum work if passed. And as anyone who has ever worked on a referendum campaign knows (bear-baiting, casinos, etc.), it’s all about the TV buy. To win, you must be equipped to do battle on TV. You’ve got to have a great message, and you have to buy enough gross rating points to compete with the several million dollars that the industrial wind developers will hurl at the defeat of this measure. So, more than the report on signatures, the fundraising report on May 2 will be very indicative of the real chances for success. Again, we can’t engage in political activity, but here’s what FMM has done to pitch in:

  • In 2014, we helped publicize the launch of Saving Maine. (HERE”S THE LINK.)
  • Also in 2014, we held our Annual Wind Forum in Freeport, at which the Saving Maine petition was discussed in detail. (YOUTUBE EXCERPT HERE.)
  • We offered an ongoing publishing opportunity to any wind opponent. (HERE’S THE LINK.)
  • We published a guest column, “Change the wind law.” (HERE’S THE LINK.)
  • We created the online links to the petition that Saving Maine is using liberally on its web page. (HERE’S THE LINK.)

Saving Maine’s ambition is exciting. We wish them the very best, and we’re looking forward to the May 2 progress reports. While they champion a winning referendum campaign, FMM will complement their effort by continuing our education mission at the Maine Legislature, at the regulatory agencies, with the media, and online with continued publishing about why industrial wind is such a bad idea.