Not deferential enough: Who owns the Sun?

Posted Tuesday, October 15, 2013 in Opinion

Not deferential enough: Who owns the Sun?

by Gina Hamilton

Hi, there, Gov. LePage,

How is it, with a governor supposedly all for business, we are able to make a huge company feel so discouraged about doing business in our state, creating hundreds of good-paying jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue that it decides not to do business with us?

Well, the short answer, Governor LePage, is you.  It's all your fault.  You're not pro-business at all, not when the business will take us out of the oil and coal and gas-driven 19th and 20th century and into the second half of the 21st.

Mr. LePage, you let your blind anti-green energy ideology get in the way of developing Maine's most natural energy source - her ocean winds - and held the whole eastern seaboard's energy needs hostage so that you could prove a petty political point.  No one could force your hand on wind energy, could it, Mr. LePage? Wind energy isn't beholden to special oil and gas interests.  It doesn't require breaking the fragile shell of the planet and polluting its groundwater to extract energy. 

Who owns the Sun, Mr. LePage? Not the energy companies, it's true.  Perhaps the very idea of an energy that can't be turned off at a corporate whim unsettles you.  Perhaps you're afraid that if you allowed the deal ... already signed and in place ... to go through your other friends would get angry with you, and perhaps not put money in your reelection coffers?

I can't imagine what was going through your mind when you decided, as capriciously as you decide most things, to renege on a business deal, putting Maine's economy and future ability to make deals with companies at extreme jeopardy.

And when your poor decision-making ability finally drove Statoil away, did you celebrate, Mr. LePage? Did you sit down in your office and order champagne or beer all around? Or were you confused and perplexed?  Did you wait for Adrienne to come up with her spin machine and declare, ex post facto, that you had opposed the deal from the beginning because the energy would have cost too much?

Did you THINK about it at all, Mr. LePage?

Oil and gas are made from dinosaurs, Mr. LePage, organisms that went extinct 65 million years ago.  They no longer exist because they, like you, failed the simplest rule of evolution: move, adapt, or die.

Wind is an adaptation, Mr. LePage, to energy and climate needs that are changing.  We simply can't continue to heat up our planet with a carbon blanket.  Take a look at the sky some night.  That bright, shiny thing that isn't the Moon is Venus.  Venus' ground temperature is hot enough to melt lead.  You can't see the planet itself, Mr. LePage, because the planet is cloaked in clouds that are mostly carbon dioxide. 

That's the same stuff, Mr. LePage, that we spew out of tailpipes and heating oil vents and natural gas powered electricity plants.  Our global temperature has risen 1.8 degrees Celsius over the last century.  That corresponds to sea level rise of about a meter.  And another meter is expected before the end of this century.

What that would mean for Maine is that low-lying communities in the midcoast and southern Maine would be innundated.  Harpswell, Brunswick, Bath, Phippsburg, Georgetown, Arrowsic, Boothbay Harbor, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport.  Other communities would experience saltwater intrusion into water tables, rendering the water unfit to drink, and forcing us to spend millions to desalinate the water.  Irrigation for crops would come to a standstill. 

Maybe you're too self-centered to care.  You, like the dinosaurs, will be long dead by then.  Maybe you have been dazzled by the echo-chamber of the far right and can't bring yourself to believe it.  Or maybe you are willing to trade our state's and its children's future for your personal short term gains at the expense of the long term survival of the state.

Whichever it is, it's despicable, Mr. LePage.

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