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“Catastrophe” Awaits Maine: Angus King
The Ellsworth American ^ | Thursday, June 19, 2008

Posted on 06/20/2008 7:58:42 AM PDT by Bulwinkle

That’s the word not from Chicken Little, but from former Maine Governor Angus King, who says he doesn’t use the term “catastrophe” lightly.

“This is a human catastrophe coming at us in the state of Maine in terms of energy supply and costs,” King said last week at a daylong seminar on harnessing tidal energy and offshore wind to confront runaway energy costs, costs he sees as a direct threat to Maine being habitable.

“This winter, the cost of fuel oil is going to more than double,” he said. “What’s being quoted now is $4.96 — $5 a gallon. That’s $1,000 to fill up your tank in the basement one time, and most people are going to have to fill up their tank six times.

“How is somebody who is making $350 or $400 a week going to pay to fill up the tank to keep warm? How are they going to pay to fill up the truck to get to work? This is, I think, the most serious crisis to ever face the state of Maine.” ...

... “This is a catastrophe,” he said. “This isn’t business as usual. This isn’t some minor little problem. This isn’t do not pass school buses or what’s the speed limit on the Interstate. This is a disaster in the state of Maine that’s coming at us.” ...

...“Eighty percent of homes in Maine are heated with oil,” he said. “The national average is 9 percent. If you do the math, 87 percent of the total energy bill of the average Maine person is dependent on oil or natural gas, and that is a particularly serious problem.”

(Excerpt) Read more at ellsworthmaine.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: energy; oil; wood
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My mom and two of my sisters live outside of Farmington and my third sister lives up in Carrabassett Valley
1 posted on 06/20/2008 7:58:42 AM PDT by Bulwinkle
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To: Bulwinkle
Angus, you just need to encourage your constituents to put tidal wave generators in the basements.

That will surely more than provide all the energy they deserve.

2 posted on 06/20/2008 8:00:50 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: Bulwinkle

I live in Maine and write a column 2-3 times a week on a local web site. I’ve been talking about a coming “catastrophe” for a few months now and the only response I get is from environmentalists who basically tell me to stop harping on the subject!!! Maine’s a weird place.....

Freezing to death is NOT a nice way to go.


3 posted on 06/20/2008 8:03:08 AM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: Bulwinkle

“This winter, the cost of fuel oil is going to more than double,”

Thats 5K for a modest home


4 posted on 06/20/2008 8:04:18 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Bulwinkle

At least she is sounding an alarm to do something now.

If I were in that position and had oil heat (I don’t have it now) I would start to look at electric baseboard and better insulation.


5 posted on 06/20/2008 8:04:44 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote (Huh?)
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To: Bulwinkle
There was a time when Maine Governors didn't whine and snivel about crises, but simply did what was necessary to "affix" them.


6 posted on 06/20/2008 8:05:56 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: MrLee

Hey...

But the polar bears are happy...

Right?

;)


7 posted on 06/20/2008 8:06:09 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Bulwinkle

80% of homes are heated by oil? Wow. Maybe some incentives (tax break?) for converting to natural gas or propane are in the offing.


8 posted on 06/20/2008 8:07:06 AM PDT by dbwz
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To: MrLee

It’s not that bad.
You get chilly and you start to slow down.
Then, you get sleepy and a little numb.
As you go out, a wave of peaceful euphoria sweeps over you and you actually feel a little warm.

Much better than the opposite.


9 posted on 06/20/2008 8:10:25 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Bulwinkle
Maine Food/Energy Crisis = Senators Snow and Collins
10 posted on 06/20/2008 8:15:31 AM PDT by lormand (Support your local and state Conservative representative in November (assuming you have one))
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To: SJSAMPLE

Not getting this. There is so damn much wood in Maine, they could rely on the technology they have used for hundreds of years: The Stove. Wow. Breakthrough.

The people on the coast tend to be affluent. They are OK. The ones in the interior are poor, but they have lots of wood to use. The governor is in some altnernate reality.


11 posted on 06/20/2008 8:16:14 AM PDT by bioqubit
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To: SJSAMPLE

True leaders lead by EXAMPLE - doing it themselves and then showing the people how its done - NO ONE in Congress is a true leader for all I see is a bunch of whiners, hypocrites, and SUV drivers that have a ton of money in their own pockets while pointing fingers at the big oil execs who may have the same amount of money in their pockets,but atleast they give us something for their money - oil. We get nothing but empty campaign promises and botox treated faces (which we pay for on our tax dollars) and lies through their teeth! It’s time for a real revolution in this country - DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW! (www.americansolutions.com)


12 posted on 06/20/2008 8:16:38 AM PDT by princess leah
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To: WakeUpAndVote

Electric rates in Maine are among the highest in the Nation........


13 posted on 06/20/2008 8:16:45 AM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: Bulwinkle

I missed the part in the article where his solutions were presented.


14 posted on 06/20/2008 8:16:49 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Bulwinkle

I owned a house for 20 years that was heated by oil.The last delivery I got before I sold it (about 4 years ago) the price was $1.69/gallon.Now it’s up to almost $5/gallon? Holy Mother of God!!!!!!


15 posted on 06/20/2008 8:18:03 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Will the dancing Hitlers please wait in the wings? We're only seeing singing Hitlers.)
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To: Bulwinkle

Windmills generating power for electric heat would preclude the need for the oil furnace to kick on most of the time. But the liberal elites will oppose them, because they’re UGLY!


16 posted on 06/20/2008 8:20:47 AM PDT by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW!)
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To: MrLee
"Freezing to death is NOT a nice way to go."

I'll bet the elite (Collins/Snow/King/) will sleep warm and snug regardless.

17 posted on 06/20/2008 8:24:33 AM PDT by lormand (Support your local and state Conservative representative in November (assuming you have one))
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To: Bulwinkle

Maybe one of these days soon folks will wake up and realize that nuclear power plants are needed ASAP and as many as possible. In the meantime they’ll continue having these problems.


18 posted on 06/20/2008 8:25:23 AM PDT by OB1kNOb (ISLAM IS THE SPIRIT OF ANTICHRIST, DIRECTED BY SATAN AND HIS FALLEN MINIONS.)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Maine Oil ...interesting cite...give prices from suppliers around the state:
Ellsworth $4.819

http://maineoil.com/


19 posted on 06/20/2008 8:30:11 AM PDT by Bulwinkle
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To: Bulwinkle

http://maineoil.com/

Those prices are not always current and tend to be 40-50 cents lower than the actual selling price.

$4.99 in my area and that site says $4.56.


20 posted on 06/20/2008 8:35:01 AM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: Bulwinkle
I live in a neighborhood where 40 years ago, captains of industry had their summer homes. Then they were taken over by the Wallstreeters in the 90’s. The Wallstreeters have lost and found jobs many times over since then, and the latest rage is “energy” for the quick, big bucks. That's all the barometer I need to know who is doing what to the price of energy.
21 posted on 06/20/2008 8:37:28 AM PDT by Melinda
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To: Bulwinkle

Maine is currently considered habitable?


22 posted on 06/20/2008 8:38:28 AM PDT by WayneS (Feed a Polar Bear -- Club a Seal!)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Yes.

Joshua Chamberlain was definitely NOT a whiner.


23 posted on 06/20/2008 8:39:28 AM PDT by WayneS (Feed a Polar Bear -- Club a Seal!)
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To: Bulwinkle

“This is a human catastrophe coming at us in the state of Maine in terms of energy supply and costs”

I agree with that part and not only Maine but the whole country.

His solutions though are way off in the future if ever and are not going to solve a thing in the near future. So what do we do in the meantime?

Even this will take time but Drill, drill, drill, nuclear power, nuclear power, nuclear power.


24 posted on 06/20/2008 8:41:24 AM PDT by Parley Baer
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

I think the solutions being discussed were tidal energy (no good because “studies” will ultimately show it will have a detrimental effect on ocean currents); and wind (no good because the ruling class in New England don’t want to have to look at windmills from their verandas “on the Vineyard”).


25 posted on 06/20/2008 8:42:50 AM PDT by WayneS (Feed a Polar Bear -- Club a Seal!)
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To: WayneS

“Maine is currently considered habitable?”

Now, be nice!


26 posted on 06/20/2008 8:45:28 AM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: WayneS

“Maine is currently considered habitable?”

Well, the Three weeks of summer is coming shortly!!!


27 posted on 06/20/2008 8:47:12 AM PDT by Bulwinkle
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To: Bulwinkle

Yes. Summer in Maine.

Do you think the high gas prices will cut down on attendance at this year’s annual “Festival of the Squirrel-sized Mosquito” and its associated “Black Fly Dinners”?


28 posted on 06/20/2008 8:52:29 AM PDT by WayneS (Feed a Polar Bear -- Club a Seal!)
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To: WayneS
"Do you think the high gas prices will cut down on attendance at this year’s annual “Festival of the Squirrel-sized Mosquito” and its associated “Black Fly Dinners”?

Nope. The Somali immigrants will still need to eat.

29 posted on 06/20/2008 8:56:02 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: dbwz
Not from Maine, but in my Northern Tier area, there is no natural gas infrastructure in the rural areas. Even though a NG pipeline runs through my property less than 1/8 mi from the house, there is no way to get hooked up at that distance.

Propane is about $2.70/g right now. Winter rates depend on supplier and amount consumed, but range from (AFAIK) about $2.50 under a cap/keep full for 975—1200 gallons/year to (I have heard) $3/gal for lesser amounts, no cap.

For the first time in over 33 years, we are still paying off last winter's propane bill. Usually, we have it paid in April and are accumulating cash credits by now. We will have it paid off in August.

Oil was the major fuel here up until the 1970s, when it went up in price and folks converted to propane or electricity. When oil went down, the electric rates didn't and people who had converted were paying huge bills and mostly went to propane. Electric bills will increase this year because of all the constraints on coal use and also of rail transport.

I wonder if this is going to be serious enough this winter to turn purple states like WI red? We not only need gasoline to get to work, it is what powers the road snow removal and the home snowblowers/trucks w/blades.

In town, there are people who rail against wood storage in one's yard, which is all people have if they have no basement, and others who are terrified of air pollution from wood heat. NG and electricity are supplied by a large producer located 90 miles away and rates are high, sometimes around $500/month for gas/electric in older, larger homes, more commonly around $100/mo. Taxes and utility fees (water/sewage) are also higher and privacy is nonexistent.

None of us could afford a move to a larger city. Rents/home prices/taxes/fees/loss of independence/nanny state laws forbidding everything from greenhouses to smoking to working on projects in the yard or driveway or to doing your own home maintenance make it a moot choice with little energy savings except perhaps gasoline.

People have lived in my house or on this property since the 1880s.There was no plumbing until 1967. They survived. It is probably the same in Maine. But, there is a lot of high anxiety about surviving this next winter.

30 posted on 06/20/2008 8:56:09 AM PDT by reformedliberal (Capitalism is what happens when governments get out of the way.)
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To: Bulwinkle

Oh, !@(*#.

I was thinking of moving there. It looks like you can get nice houses cheap, taxes are reasonable... but if it’s going to cost $5,000 a year to heat my house...!


31 posted on 06/20/2008 8:56:55 AM PDT by Pravious
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To: OB1kNOb

I thought there was a nuke power plant right down the road in Seabrook, N.H. Does any part of Maine benefit from it?


32 posted on 06/20/2008 9:00:19 AM PDT by JZelle
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To: Bulwinkle

If you build a home that costs money to heat and cool, that’s a choice, not a given. People have built homes that do not require furnaces or air conditioning to maintain a comfortable temperature (55 to 57 Fahrenheit) for thousands of years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_sheltering

There are US builders even today who specialize in them.

http://www.daviscaves.com/index.shtml


33 posted on 06/20/2008 9:02:13 AM PDT by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: MrLee

Sounds like the folk in Maine (much like the rest of our country) need to decide and decide now.

Do they continue to live on their knees as peasants, or do they stand up like free men and women and kick the crap out of the scumbags playing games with their lives?


34 posted on 06/20/2008 9:03:31 AM PDT by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: JZelle

Take note. Even Maine’s two GOP Senators vote against drilling.

That should make the constituents pleased.

Texas is happy to take some more Northerners in as the economics situation here is bright as we drill our way ahead to prosperity.


35 posted on 06/20/2008 9:05:03 AM PDT by bestintxas
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To: reformedliberal
In town, there are people who rail against wood storage in one's yard, which is all people have if they have no basement, and others who are terrified of air pollution from wood heat.

You're serious?

This issue has the opportunity to reveal just how isolated and unrealistic are the Global Warming Democrats.

36 posted on 06/20/2008 9:07:05 AM PDT by okie01 (THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA: Ignorance on Parade)
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To: Bulwinkle

How did anyone manage to live there prior to heating oil being refined?

I’ve got an idea. Build some nuclear power plants. Quit wasting oil on furnaces.


37 posted on 06/20/2008 9:08:59 AM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Bulwinkle

Maine is one of them blue states, aint it? Maybe they should tell the do nothing Dimwit Congress to stop impeding progress.


38 posted on 06/20/2008 9:27:37 AM PDT by Sig Sauer P220
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To: MrLee

Are they less than oil? I don’t know. When I lived in NE Pennsylvania, my primary heat was wood. Five cord a year.


39 posted on 06/20/2008 9:31:38 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote (Huh?)
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To: Bulwinkle

I tend to agree with the govenor. I just saw a quote on home heating oil here at $4.65/gallon. I generally buy it in 400-500 gallons at a time. This is just for heating the house in the long, cold winter. And we have replaced the windows and hod the house insulated and sided.


40 posted on 06/20/2008 9:33:56 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (Swift as the wind; Calmly majestic as a forest; Steady as the mountains.)
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To: Bulwinkle
“In 1998, energy — all energy: cars, home heating and electricity — was 4 percent of the average Maine family’s budget. Today it’s 20 percent. It went from 4 percent to 20 percent in 10 years. That’s pain.” Should oil hit $300 a barrel, King said, that percentage would increase from 20 percent to as much as 50 percent of the average family budget.

Former Maine Governor Angus King“We go from pain to lethal,” he said. “We simply can’t survive that. This state and this country are not viable at that level of energy costs. If this happens, it’s all over. We won’t have an election for governor in 2020; we’ll have an election for chief park ranger, because that’s all this state will be, a large park of some kind that is largely uninhabitable.

I bought my house 17 years ago - it cost $500 to heat - now it would be over $2,000. I ain't got it. I put in a wood stove years ago, but it's getting increasingly hard for me to handle - I'm a handicapped great gramma.

Not to mention: wood in much more expensive now also, especially since I can't saw logs and split stumps.

But Obama would be proud of me - I haven't had my thermostat at 72 for years - indeed, I run at 68 max, have the heat turned off and keep door closed in the bedroom, turned off in office, useing only residual heat from dining/kitchen, and wear "extreme weather" wool socks and heavy wool sweaters, use lap robes and wool throws on my shoulders - and have got the cat used to napping on the top of my easy chair and pillows - helps keep my head warm.

But seriously, (well, all the above is true) I do not know how I can keep survivably warm this winter. If I could handle running only the wood stove, that would help a great deal...but I can't. - 20% of a soc. sec. check is a big bite...I do make a bit extra by continuing my column of 20 years - but the IRS imposes almost 16% for self-employment soc. sec., tax...

41 posted on 06/20/2008 9:35:58 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (No trees were killed in sending this message but a large number of electrons were terrible agitated)
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To: WakeUpAndVote

We have a wood stove. But the cost of a cord of cut & split wood has gone from $75 a cord to $200 or more...... Our electricity, ah hell, EVERYTHING’S high in Maine...........
Decades of liberal control of the legislature has ruined this state... If I were younger I’d be gone!


42 posted on 06/20/2008 9:37:34 AM PDT by MrLee (Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalyim!! God bless Eretz Israel.)
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To: WakeUpAndVote
If I were in that position and had oil heat (I don’t have it now) I would start to look at electric baseboard and better insulation.

I guess I'm not understanding you?

where do you live? Certainly not in Maine.

Electric baseboard heat is WAY more expensive even than oil - and what makes you think we Mainers are too dumb to have "better" insulation?

Might I suggest you try living in Maine or in the same climate zone for a few winters before you 'opine'?

43 posted on 06/20/2008 9:40:27 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (No trees were killed in sending this message but a large number of electrons were terrible agitated)
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To: Bulwinkle

Cold in Maine?

Perhaps they have too much Snowe?


44 posted on 06/20/2008 9:41:25 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 . The Bitcons will elect a Democrat by default)
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To: bert

I hope it’s REALLY extra cold this winter! I’d welcome freezing temps.


45 posted on 06/20/2008 9:46:36 AM PDT by bicyclerepair (Ft. Lauderdale Florida)
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To: reformedliberal

Another word about wood heat. Wood heat is nice. It heats up quickly and is nice to look at. However wood here runs about $70/face cord delivered. We use about 8 cords/year. My neighbor has 14 cords piled up beside his house for next winter.

On the downside, a wood stove won’t heat your house. I heats an area very well. The upstairs are rather chilly. One needs wood heat as a backup when everything else terns adverse. Even if you own the trees, there are costs associated with getting it out and cutting it up to go into the stove. Wood heats you three times. Once when you cut the tree down, once when you cut the wood up so it can go into the stove, and once when you burn it. Then there are the ashes to take care of.


46 posted on 06/20/2008 9:46:51 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (Swift as the wind; Calmly majestic as a forest; Steady as the mountains.)
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To: okie01

Serious.

The rest of the story:

We have an influx of wealthy young progressives who, by supporting an alternative Waldorf School, an organic food co-op and a block of mostly failing boutiques have also drawn in economically average people with Progressive POVs and a lot of what we call *floaters* (because they seem to *float* a few inches off the ground) from Madison, mostly UW drop outs. Because of them, this town of 4k is now considered a *happening* (sic) place.

The native townspeople are up in arms about the hippies maintaining messy wood piles in their front yards, gardening on the road medians, planting messy sweet corn rows in their front yards and keeping chickens in the back yard, while never seeming to weed anything or dispose of any garden/animal waste, except to let it accumulate in the yard.The newcomers also get hysterical when a neighbor or the town cuts down any tree, uses any additive on the grass or mows with a gas mower.

The town council has punted the issue and after a citizen uprising last summer, all they did was talk about issuing chicken permits and lecturing the offenders on keeping their property neat/habitable.

The air-pollution alarmists evidently moved here to avoid the air in larger urban areas. Some are just natural-born neurotics. The town is on a ridge, but the area is quite hilly and so, many mornings, we have dense fog in the valleys and this means an *air quality alert* is issued by the weather service. They get especially hysterical when there is pollen or mold spores in abundance (Spring/Fall). This affects the susceptible, who then jump on anything that might be *polluting*.

The same newcomers are up in arms about pig farms and the landfilled disposal of scrubbed (limed) fly ash from the coal-fired generating plant about 20 miles from here that _might_ *endanger* organic farms. We just had the second round of severe flooding in ten months that devestated many organic acres and we have many watershed control dams that need repair/replacement, but the concern of the newcomers is a recreational lake behind a dam that leaked and had to be drained. This will take millions, little help from the State or Feds and drain resources away from flood control.

While we have been here for 34 years and have good friends in town, we value our individual privacy, peace and quiet and the independence of our own woodlot, well, river, springs and no building permits or ordinances against *unsightly* building projects on our property. It would take catastrophic illness or advanced age (80s) to make us move into town and then, it would only be for proximity to the hospital.


47 posted on 06/20/2008 9:48:56 AM PDT by reformedliberal (Capitalism is what happens when governments get out of the way.)
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To: All

Don’t worry, Hugo Chavez will come to the rescue and provide free oil just before the elections....


48 posted on 06/20/2008 9:54:04 AM PDT by Maringa
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To: maine-iac7

No, I have never even visited there but, I would like to. The coldest I have ever had was highs just below zero for a few days.

Never said Mainers are dumb for not having insulation or not. I would just make sure my attic had an extra layer of fyberglass, window caulked and doors sealed.

What extra things do you have? I am always up for a new idea.


49 posted on 06/20/2008 9:54:14 AM PDT by WakeUpAndVote (Huh?)
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To: WayneS
Maine is currently considered habitable?

Well, at least in our non-winter season. We DO have two seasons you know: Winter and 4th of July (only the 4th of July is looking iffy this year.)

That aside - your passport to ever visit Maine is now revoked.


50 posted on 06/20/2008 9:56:41 AM PDT by maine-iac7 (No trees were killed in sending this message but a large number of electrons were terrible agitated)
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