Monday, May 20, 2013

An Open Letter to the 126th Legislature's EUT Committee

An Open Letter to the Members of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee of the 126th Maine State Legislature:

Dear Senator Cleveland, Representative Hobbins and Esteemed Members of the EUT Committee,

Do you have the right to have input in zoning changes within your community?

If you live in one of Maine’s 433 organized municipalities, you do.

If you live in an Unorganized Territory that was NOT included in the Expedited Permitting Area, you do.

If you live in a Plantation that adopted LURC’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan as your own zoning ordinance – whether inside or outside the EPA – you do.

But if you are one of the less than 1% of Maine residents who were unfortunate enough to live in an Unorganized Territory with terrain coveted by the wind industry and not protected by State Law, you lost your rights in 2008.

Do you enjoy more rights than we do?  If you still have the right to ‘have a say’ on how your community is zoned, the answer is ‘yes’.  If the answer is ‘yes’, then you surely will support LD616 – the request of five communities (Lexington, Concord and Carrying Place Townships and Pleasant Ridge and Highland Plantations) to have equal rights restored to us.  If the answer is ‘yes’ but you intend to vote ‘no’on LD616, then please tell the less-than-1% of Maine citizens why you think you are more deserving than we are.  Please speak up.  Look us in the eye.  And tell us why we were (are) deemed second-class citizens.

Isn’t it time to do what’s right?  This decision should be an easy one to make.  Please don’t allow corporate lobbyists to cloud the issue. No matter what they say, passage of LD616 will not disallow their projects.  It will simply give rural Maine citizens the same rights to self-governance enjoyed by each member of your Committee -- the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee -- as well as 99% of your constituents and fellow Mainers.

It’s time to stop stalling.  No more kicking this proverbial can down the road.  We’re Mainers and Americans and we’re asking you to do the ethical thing.  Integrity and fairness call for a unanimous “Ought to Pass”.  

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