letter to the editor

Say no to blood money

Mon, 11/07/2022 - 3:00pm

Dear Editor:

New England Aqua Ventus (NEAV), a joint venture between Diamond Offshore Wind, a subsidiary of the Mitsubishi Corporation, and RWE Renewables, the second largest company in offshore wind globally, was formed to develop UMaine’s floating offshore wind technology demonstration project. This floating windmill, secured to the ocean bottom, will be located 2 miles south of Monhegan Island and 14 miles from the Maine coast. While Port Clyde and Bristol said “no” to allowing NEAV to bring this windmill power ashore, in 2021, Bigelow Laboratories signed an easement that allows this power to be brought onto the Boothbay peninsula through their campus and then connecting to underground power easements to the CMP substation at the corner of Routes 27 and 96. Our towns have no say in this matter.

The Biden administration is dumping trillions of taxpayer dollars into offshore wind initiatives and offshore wind companies are big donors to environmental causes which was, without a doubt, one reason for Bigelow’s decision to grant this easement to NEAV.

NEAV has created a “Community Benefits Group” to determine how to spend ~$1M between Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor in return for running this power cable through our towns. They are planning to share their recommendations with the Boothbay Selectboard Nov. 9 and the Boothbay Harbor Selectboard Nov. 14.

Eliminating our lobster industry clears the way for a Gulf of Maine filled with windmills. These global companies are financially supporting the environmental groups that are driving the North Atlantic Right Whale risk reduction measures aimed at eliminating Maine’s lobster industry. NEAV doesn’t care about “Community Benefits.” NEAV needs to check a box on an application that says the community has bought in on this project.

I encourage both Selectboards to act boldly and do one of two things with this “blood” money.

Decline the money. There is nothing “free” here and NEAV doesn’t care about our towns – we are a means to an end and they are paying an obligatory “toll.”

Accept the money but donate every penny to the Maine Lobstermen’s Association’s legal defense fund to fight the Right Whale risk reduction mandates.

Patty Minerich

Boothbay Harbor