The Winds of Change

Seth Kaplan

Once upon a time Conservation Law Foundation and our allies in Maine waged a long and ardous battle to prevent the development of Sears Island, the largest undeveloped island in Maine, as a bulk cargo facility.   Many local citizens supported this effort both because of the environmental impact of the project but also because of the fact that such ports rapaciously consume land while generating very little high quality economic activity.

The nearby historic port city of Searsport is now experiencing a much more positive kind of shipping boom – the importation of wind turbines to build the new clean energy infrastructure needed to tackle global warming and build a safe and stable economy for Maine, New England and the nation.  A recent New York Times article detail the difficulty of moving these large structures on land from the port to wind farm sites and a followup blog entry describes the ironic problem of handling these structures when it is windy.

These are the kind of practical problems that need to be overcome if we are to build a new economy based on clean energy.   They are good problems to have – because as we overcome them we are really building for the future and moving beyond short sighted “economic development” that sacrificed the environment and the future for a project only of immediate and dubious benefit.

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8 Responses to “The Winds of Change”

  1. Is this post an attempt to test the waters as to whether CLF can join Sierra Club and the shipping industry and turn a blind eye on the proposed destruction of the irreplaceable natural assets of western Sears Island and its adjoining groundfish nursery shoal?

    Let’s hope not! Making Searsport “competitive” with other existing Maine and New England ports in the very tiny business of being an entrepot for foreign turbine blades, by slaughtering Penobscot Bay’s largest fish and shellfish nursery and paving 100s of acres of the unique native assemblage of upland, forested wetlands, marshes and streams on the west side of Sears Island – would be pound-foolish in the extreme!

    CLF-ers of today need to read their group’s archives and find out why 1990s CLF attorney Dan Sosland so fiercely and so successfully defended Sears Island from a succession of shortsighted Maine governors.
    Ron

  2. Is this post an attempt to test the waters as to whether CLF can join Sierra Club and the shipping industry and turn a blind eye on the proposed destruction of the irreplaceable natural assets of western Sears Island and its adjoining groundfish nursery shoal?

    Let’s hope not! Making Searsport “competitive” with other existing Maine and New England ports in the very tiny business of being an entrepot for foreign turbine blades, by slaughtering Penobscot Bay’s largest fish and shellfish nursery and paving 100s of acres of the unique native assemblage of upland, forested wetlands, marshes and streams on the west side of Sears Island – would be pound-foolish in the extreme!

    CLF-ers of today need to read their group’s archives and find out why 1990s CLF attorney Dan Sosland so fiercely and so successfully defended Sears Island from a succession of shortsighted Maine governors.
    Ron

  3. Is this post an attempt to test the waters as to whether CLF can join Sierra Club and the shipping industry and turn a blind eye on the proposed destruction of the irreplaceable natural assets of western Sears Island and its adjoining groundfish nursery shoal?

    Let’s hope not! Making Searsport “competitive” with other existing Maine and New England ports in the very tiny business of being an entrepot for foreign turbine blades, by slaughtering Penobscot Bay’s largest fish and shellfish nursery and paving 100s of acres of the unique native assemblage of upland, forested wetlands, marshes and streams on the west side of Sears Island – would be pound-foolish in the extreme!

    CLF-ers of today need to read their group’s archives and find out why 1990s CLF attorney Dan Sosland so fiercely and so successfully defended Sears Island from a succession of shortsighted Maine governors.
    Ron

  4. Is this post an attempt to test the waters as to whether CLF can join Sierra Club and the shipping industry and turn a blind eye on the proposed destruction of the irreplaceable natural assets of western Sears Island and its adjoining groundfish nursery shoal?

    Let’s hope not! Making Searsport “competitive” with other existing Maine and New England ports in the very tiny business of being an entrepot for foreign turbine blades, by slaughtering Penobscot Bay’s largest fish and shellfish nursery and paving 100s of acres of the unique native assemblage of upland, forested wetlands, marshes and streams on the west side of Sears Island – would be pound-foolish in the extreme!

    CLF-ers of today need to read their group’s archives and find out why 1990s CLF attorney Dan Sosland so fiercely and so successfully defended Sears Island from a succession of shortsighted Maine governors.
    Ron

  5. Seth Kaplan

    The post was not intended to make a comment one way or the other about any proposed project, port expansion or otherwise. Building clean energy infrastructure and preserving local habit and ecosystems are both very important goals. As always, CLF will work closely with local communities on these issues. We may not always agree about conclusions (although very often we will !) but we should always approach each other with respect.

    On a personal note – in the early 1990’s I did “back office” legal work on the Sears Island case for CLF and in the late 1990’s I was the lead advocate for CLF in a successful effort (waged in close alliance with many local groups) to keep a containerized cargo port out of Quonset Point on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

  6. Seth Kaplan

    The post was not intended to make a comment one way or the other about any proposed project, port expansion or otherwise. Building clean energy infrastructure and preserving local habit and ecosystems are both very important goals. As always, CLF will work closely with local communities on these issues. We may not always agree about conclusions (although very often we will !) but we should always approach each other with respect.

    On a personal note – in the early 1990’s I did “back office” legal work on the Sears Island case for CLF and in the late 1990’s I was the lead advocate for CLF in a successful effort (waged in close alliance with many local groups) to keep a containerized cargo port out of Quonset Point on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

  7. Seth Kaplan

    The post was not intended to make a comment one way or the other about any proposed project, port expansion or otherwise. Building clean energy infrastructure and preserving local habit and ecosystems are both very important goals. As always, CLF will work closely with local communities on these issues. We may not always agree about conclusions (although very often we will !) but we should always approach each other with respect.

    On a personal note – in the early 1990’s I did “back office” legal work on the Sears Island case for CLF and in the late 1990’s I was the lead advocate for CLF in a successful effort (waged in close alliance with many local groups) to keep a containerized cargo port out of Quonset Point on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

  8. Seth Kaplan

    The post was not intended to make a comment one way or the other about any proposed project, port expansion or otherwise. Building clean energy infrastructure and preserving local habit and ecosystems are both very important goals. As always, CLF will work closely with local communities on these issues. We may not always agree about conclusions (although very often we will !) but we should always approach each other with respect.

    On a personal note – in the early 1990’s I did “back office” legal work on the Sears Island case for CLF and in the late 1990’s I was the lead advocate for CLF in a successful effort (waged in close alliance with many local groups) to keep a containerized cargo port out of Quonset Point on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

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