Stuff about me
My name is Keith Michaud and this is “Letters From Away,” a blog written by a Mainer living outside the comfortable and sane confines of New England. The blog is intended for Mainers, whether they live in the Pine Tree State or beyond, and for anyone who has loved ’em, been baffled by ’em or both. Ayuh, I am “from away.” Worse still, I live on the Left Coast – in California. Enjoy! Or not. Your choice.
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Stuff people write
- Mainers to be thankful for | Portland Press Herald
- Farmers who gain from tax bill wary of losing subsidies later | Bangor Daily News
- Hiking a section of the Mokelumne Coast to Crest Trail
- As Mainers endorse expanding MaineCare, feds back LePage methods to shrink it | Bangor Daily News
- Returning to my roots – the great outdoors
Tag Archives: Energy
Study: Wind could supply fourth of New England’s power | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
Jetport project tapping Earth’s energy: Expansion plans include an ‘underutilized technology’ that cuts new terminal’s need for oil by 90 percent | Portland Press Herald
PORTLAND — Drivers who use a new parking lot at the Portland International Jetport won’t notice, but their vehicles will be atop more than 11 miles of plastic tubing.
If they could slice open the earth, they would see 120 loops extending 500 feet into bedrock. And if they could peer through the tubing, they would see fluid circulating at 500 gallons a minute.
Drill rigs will run every day for the next month to turn the land under the new parking lot into a giant heat exchanger. The fluid will absorb some of the earth’s stored heat in winter and help warm a new addition at the jetport. The process will be reversed in summer, with heat being dumped into the cooler earth.
When the jetport’s $75 million expansion opens in 2012, it will be heated and cooled by Maine’s largest geothermal system. The system is expected to cut the amount of oil that would otherwise be used for the new terminal by 90 percent — nearly 102,000 gallons a year.
Click for the rest of the story by Tux Turkel in the Portland Press Herald.
Here are links to a three-part series by the Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting published in the Bangor Daily News looking at wind energy in Maine and the laws surrounding it.
State point man on offshore wind clearly energized | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
[In high school I played in a baseball playoff game hosted at the university baseball field near where this turbine was built. If that day was any indication of what the wind is like there normally, the windmill was put in just the right place. It was so windy that day that we could barely hit the ball out of the infield. More universities – more communities, more hospitals, more government buildings should consider wind power, solar power, and other alternative energy sources. – KM]
Live data on the turbine can be found at www.umpi.edu/wind; click on “Live Turbine Data.”
The long-awaited climate change bill is due to be unveiled in the U.S. Senate today. But a summary of the bill circulated in the media yesterday.
The Associated Press reported that under the new bill, coastal states could veto offshore drilling plans of nearby states, if they can prove negative impacts from an accident.
This clause is undoubtedly part of last-minute changes made in response to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf.
Click on the lick for the rest of this story on SustainableBusiness.com.
Poll: Gulf spill influences public’s desire for clean energy legislation | SustainableBusiness.com News
Seven in ten Americans say clean energy legislation must be fast-tracked in the wake of the catastrophic Gulf oil spill, according to a new Natural Resources Defense Council poll.
In addition, two-thirds want all new offshore drilling delayed pending the outcome of a full and independent investigation into the disaster and the implementation of new safeguards to protect against such debacles in the future.
The survey queried 803 registered voters nationwide May 4-6, and suggests that the public – if not Congress–is ready to support reasonable climate change and energy legislation.
“It’s no surprise to me that Americans watching this ghastly disaster unfold are seeing it as a wake-up call for action we urgently need to take,” NRDC Director of Programs Wesley Warren said. “Now is the time for Washington to give America the change in direction it deserves.”
Click on the lick for the rest of this story on SustainableBusiness.com.
SEATTLE, WA — From buying green power to reducing the amount of water it uses, Starbucks is on track to meet the majority of its long-term environmental goals, the coffee giant said Monday.
Starbucks made gains in green building, water and energy use, ethical sourcing and helping farmers reduce deforestation, the company said in its 2009 Global Responsibility Report. It lagged, however, in one high-profile area: recycling.
The company rated its progress on three recycling goals as “Needs improvement.” The goals involve developing a comprehensive recyclable cup by 2012, implementing front-of-store recycling in company-owned stores, and serving a quarter of beverage made in-store in reusable vessels, both by 2015.
“One of the significant challenges we’re facing is a wide variance in municipal recycling capabilities,” Starbucks said in the report. “This inconsistency makes it difficult for a company like ours, with more than 16,000 retail locations around the globe, to efficiently and effectively implement a recycling strategy.”
Click on the link for the rest of the story on GreenBiz.com.
AUGUSTA, Maine – The state needs more college-educated workers, lower energy and health care costs, and more investment in research and development, according to a report to lawmakers.
The Maine Economic Growth Council, a 19-member panel with business, labor, education and legislative representatives, released its 2010 Measures of Growth report to legislative leaders released Thursday.
The report examines the state’s progress on 24 indicators, awarding gold stars for progress and red flags for areas that need attention. It’s designed to help lawmakers and the governor’s office consider long-term implications as they make decisions on legislation, said Laurie Lachance, president of the Maine Development Foundation.
“No single indicator tells the whole story of Maine,” she said. “This report looks at long-term, more structural issues. It’s not meant to be a judgment of what’s happening today.”
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Susan Cover in the Kennebec Journal.
Below are several links, including one to a press release found on Sustainablebusiness.com about a report published by economic consulting firm Charles River Associates. That report apparently suggests that the Cape Wind offshore wind farm alone could save $4.6 billion – that’s with a B – over the next quarter century.
The proposed project would be off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound. It is not stretch that proportionally similar savings could be realized from the eventual construction of a proposed project off Maine’s coast.
Of course, such reports usually are funded by the agency that would benefit. Cape Wind Associates LLC funded the report, according to a news story about the report.
Here’s a link to Friday’s press release: “Cape Wind Report: Offshore wind will cut electric prices by $4.6B”
Here’s a link to a previous press release about delays: “Cape Wind faces new obstacle”
Here’s a link to Thursday’s story in the Cape Cod Times about the report: “Cape Wind savings pegged at billions”
Here’s a link to Cape Wind’s website: http://www.capewind.org/.
JACKSON, Maine — Residents this weekend approved a controversial wind turbine ordinance that would impose strict regulations on industrial wind power developments.
Among other things, the ordinance — written by the planning board and the wind energy subcommittee — stipulates that any 400-foot-tall turbines erected must be at least a mile from any houses.
Although the 111-75 vote Saturday morning at a special town meeting has cheered many who oppose large-scale wind facilities in Maine, it also has dismayed some in this rural town of about 500 people who feel the ordinance is too restrictive and shortsighted.
“I was disappointed,” said Duane Lahaye of Jackson, a past member of the planning board who uses several small windmills at his home. “We have to think as an entire nation. We can’t just think as people who don’t want it ‘in my backyard.’ For the better good of everybody, these windmills would have been great.”
The new ordinance replaces a moratorium on wind energy projects that has been in place since January 2009 and was enacted in response to proposals to erect a series of wind towers along Mount Harris and Ricker Ridge in Jackson, Dixmont and Thorndike. Dixmont voters last November approved an ordinance requiring a 1-mile setback between wind turbines and homes.
Click on the link for the rest of today’s story by Abigail Curtis of the Bangor Daily News.