AUGUSTA, Maine(NEWS CENTER) -- With a growing number of large, commercial wind farms in the state, there is also growing opposition to putting big wind turbines on more mountain ridges.
Wind farms have been supported by most of Maine's large environmental groups, because they say the state has to do something to reduce pollution from fossil fuel that contributes to climate change. But people living near some of the wind farm areas complain the turbines are destroying Maine's wilderness and mountain landscapes, and that the state's wind power law needs to be changed.
Both sides showed up at a Legislative hearing in Augusta today, where lawmakers are considering modifications to 2008 law that would require new wind farms to be farther away from scenic views, and also require regulators to consider the "cumulative impact" of multiple wind farms in a particular area. Supporters say the continued development is threatening the scenic views that are part of the "Maine brand", and therefore threaten businesses related to tourism.
Supporters of the current law say the proposed changes would make it far more difficult to locate and new wind farms. Those groups say the demands of climate change are as or more important than the concerns over particular views.
The Legislature's Energy and Utilities Committee will begin debate on the bill later this week.