Been there, done it!
Every so often I see or hear something that triggers my “write a column” reflex. That just happened when I received the morning news on my iPhone. Bold as brass, independent candidate for the 2nd Congressional District Mike Turcotte wants 154 unorganized townships to become a Maine Woods State Preserve with all residential and commercial building banned.
One can’t help but wonder if he is playing footsie under the table with Roxanne Quimby, who wants to “donate” a large part of the Maine woods to a no-use zone disguised as a national monument. Am I just a suspicious ole fart?
And now folks, take a sip, get a grip on your chair as I tell you the featured part of Turcotte’s plan to rescue the Maine economy: according to his proposal, he wants the state to fund, with long-term bonds, the construction of not one but two nuclear power plants in the Katahdin woods along the Penobscot River near Woodville with the nuclear waste to be stored on-site in the woods near his proposed new preserve! Did that get your attention? Got mine!
He claims this will create 800 jobs and says it will cost the state $12 billion. (I live on my Social Security and my mind doesn’t work with numbers in the billions. To be paid back by whom?) He claims it will make cheap power to attract businesses and we will have plenty left over to sell.
Folks, I know better than most that I am only an ignorant clod from Whitefield, but I lived through the Maine Yankee proposal, the licensing process, the demonstrations and picketing (of course I did!) and eventual running thereof until the decision of the company to shut it down because it was proving to be financially unfeasible.
Oh! Guess where the waste still is?! It is 10.5 miles from my chair as I sit, right beside the Sheepscot River like me.
The final part of his genius plan to save the state economy is to convince northern Maine farmers to quit planting potatoes and grow massive amounts of ginseng instead because it is worth more per pound. Now I ask you folks, if the world’s supply of ginseng suddenly increased by several hundred thousand acres, what would happen to the price?
This man has not thought things through clearly. I wish I could attend one of his meetings and ask him embarrassing questions from the floor. Can I vote in the second district? Like I say: ignorant clod … who is going to vote Big Bird for president. Long time till November …
(Doug Wright lives over Head Tide Hill in Whitefield. He welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.)