The REAL Fairwinds FAQ
As interpreted by Kevin White
[Note: Immediately below is the list of questions
that Mr. White is answering If you click on the * you will be taken
directly to that question. To return to the top, press the HOME key on
your keyboard. Burr Taylor reformatted his article in hopes of making it
easier for the reader. He is responsible for problems arising from that.]
- Town Government: *
- When did Fairwinds first approach the town?
- So when Gordon Weil jumped back into the Select chair to fill the
vacancy, he fully knew that Fairwinds was expressing interest in the
- Did he reassume the selectmenís seat solely to drive LNG into
- Is that an accusation? *
- Are the answers to the above important? *
- Is it illegal what Dr. Weil did? Is it a conflict of interest?
- Dr. Weil has expertise in the area of energy, isnít that good for
- But Conoco Phillips has maintained they were pressed for time and
needed quick decisions; did they pressure the selectboard into moving
- Is Conoco Phillips also the reason why everything was handled so
- But all the secrecy has made me suspicious of the selectmenís
motives. There has GOT to be something in it for them. Is there?
- Iím angry that the selectmen didnít approach the town first prior
to engaging in serious conversations with Fairwinds. The comprehensive
plan was ignored. Isnít that wrong? *
- Why did the vote date keep getting moved around?
- The Lease: *
- Did Harpswell get everything it wanted in the lease?
- Does the lease adequately protect Harpswell?
- Why does protection only extend so far? *
- What types of things are unprotected? *
- Wow, that means there are huge amount of things that Conoco
Phillips can do that arenít covered through the lease agreement,
- You mentioned expansion. Can Conoco Phillips expand?
- Safety and terrorism: *
- Turning to safety; Is LNG safe? *
- What about Algiers? *
- But isnít LNG harmless, doesnít it just evaporate and float away
on the wind? *
- You canít talk about safety without discussing terrorism. Would
the facility be safe from terrorist attack? *
- But the probability of a terrorist attack on LNG is low, right?
- But Harpswell is a small town, isnít it likely terrorists will
attack a more populated area? *
- This concerns me. In what ways is Harpswell more attractive?
- Canít Harpswell just keep security tight?
- The money and the studies: *
- But the town will receive eight million dollars in revenue from
the lease, wonít that be enough money to afford proper protection?
- Why? Where is all the lease money going? *
- What did the socio-economic report say? *
- Do you mean the lease revenue ISNíT a huge financial windfall for
- If the lease revenue isnít a windfall, then why should town voters
want to allow Fairwinds to build in Harpswell? Wonít such a thing
change the character of Harpswell? Wonít it change it from a rural
community to an industrial one? *
- Isnít the money aspect disputed? I heard that Fairwinds
commissioned its own studyÖ *
- So it is not a study, and nothing in it relates to the
socio-economic impact specific to Harpswell? *
- I find it hard to believe that eight million dollars can flow into
the community and the town wonít see a benefit. How can that be?
- The impacted: *
- What groups of townspeople does the presence of Fairwinds hurt?
- Is that all? *
- Doesnít the Yellow Woods Report also predict that taxes will
eventually rise to higher than current levels after a short period of
- What about the permanent jobs Fairwindís provide?
- What about the construction jobs? *
- Doesnít the lease have a mitigation fund to address the losses to
fishermen created by operations? *
- Canít fishermen just sue for damage related to the pipeline to
recover their losses? *
- What is the time element? *
- Why is that a problem; the fishermen will get some settlement if
theyíve been injured? *
- I donít believe that Fairwinds will impact the fishermanís
business; is this correct? *
- What about the abutters? Is there any compensation program for
- Why do the abutters feel that their properties are in jeopardy?
The fuel farm existed there prior to Fairwinds. Isnít it sort of the
same thing? *
- But why are they saying their property values will drop? Didnít
property values increase exponentially over time while the fuel depot
was there? *
- Well, did they? *
- Why is this a problem? They donít have to sell. The losses wonít
be realized until they do. *
- But wonít the elderly and the poor be helped by the cash flow into
the town? *
- Will Fairwinds hurt tourism? *
- The vote: *
- What are some of the core issues I should be considering when I go
to vote? *
- The aftermath: *
- Will Harpswell ever recover from this Fairwinds episode?
- The closing qualifier: *
- Can everything be covered fully in an FAQ?
- The recommendation: *
Q: When did Fairwinds first approach the town?
A: Best accounts of this, evidenced by town documentation, date serious
interest back as early as 4/2002. There is paperwork showing that Roberta
Weil, then on the depot commission, was in direct contact with Conoco
Phillips and appropriate state agencies as of that time. Earliest contact
was likely just prior.
Q: So when Gordon Weil jumped back into the
Select chair to fill the vacancy, he fully knew that Fairwinds was
expressing interest in the property?
A: It is presumed that a husband and wife would communicate. Therefore,
by inference, one must assume yes.
Q: Did he reassume the selectmenís seat solely
to drive LNG into Harpswell?
A: Solely Dr. Weil knows Dr. Weilís motivations.
Q: Is that an accusation?
A: No, not in the least. It is believed that all the selectmen, to a
man, have all believed they are serving the best interests of Harpswell.
Where opinion differs is simply whether such a small sample of people
imposing its certain vision for the town upon its citizenry was
appropriate and handled correctly. It can be argued that it should have
been more of a collective agreement.
Q: Are the answers to the above important?
A: In the context that a different mix of selectmen of might have
produced an extremely different handling of the situation? Yes. A
different selectperson, one not so comfortable with the energy industry,
might have more deeply questioned LNG as an appropriate choice for the
town and not assumed such dominating control over the others on the board,
and moved so quickly into concrete lease negotiations in a situation which
so severely contradicted the townís comprehensive plan.
Q: Is it illegal what Dr. Weil did? Is it a
conflict of interest?
A: No, as long as Dr. Weil did not pursue public matters for his own
private advancement, his participation is not illegal or in conflict of
Q: Dr. Weil has expertise in the area of energy,
isnít that good for Harpswell?
A: Yes, it is. Dr. Weilís expertise helped secure the best possible
lease agreement for Harpswell. What might be at issue is whether he should
have been negotiating the deal from the selectmanís chair, thus exercising
iron control over the town political process (in some opinionsóholding it
hostage) while concurrently drafting important town business; or whether
he should have been accessed as an expert consultant for the town, after
the matter had been allowed to move forward following due diligence and
global consent and approval by the town during a public assembly. The
questions are: "Was it okay to progress with negotiations while in control
of the government and without widespread consent?" Should the discussion
have been pursued exclusive of, rather than intertwined with the political
process? Should a small government body be allowed to ram its own ideology
through irrespective of communal wishes, and then fully negotiate for the
whole, when the whole has not been invited to have any say in the matter
prior to ensuing negotiations? Should the control of the
government/political process and what amounts to a special interest group
have remained separate and distinct? There have been many
political protections afforded Fairwinds.
Q: But Conoco Phillips has maintained they were
pressed for time and needed quick decisions; did they pressure the
selectboard into moving quickly?
A: They did.
Q: Is Conoco Phillips also the reason why
everything was handled so secretively?
A: Yes, and no. Being secretive and guarded was and is necessary due to
the highly competitive nature of Conoco Phillipís industry. There is a
race on to install LNG facilities in the Northeast, and all companies are
playing their cards very close to their chests. On the other hand, outside
input would have slowed the lease drafting process dramatically. In a
race, that is unacceptable. Public comment was therefore NOT solicited.
Trouble arises mainly when ALL contrary input is silenced. The selectmen
had control of this and elected to NOT invite any discourse that wasnít
LNG friendly. They continued with this position throughout the entire
process. This was/is a highly questionable course of action and may lie at
the heart of the divisive and emotionally charged environment currently
present in the town.
Q: But all the secrecy has made me suspicious of
the selectmenís motives. There has GOT to be something in it for them. Is
A: Outside of a personal desire to see the process through, there is no
hard evidence that any of the selectmen see direct benefit from Fairwinds.
It is anticipated (correctly or not is highly debated) that Fairwinds will
enrich the town government. There is no guarantee that any of the
selectmen, once their term expires, will be able to control said funds.
Consequently, personal enhancement from the project is not likely. There
are some anecdotal accusations of job pandering, but they are
Q: Iím angry that the selectmen didnít approach
the town first prior to engaging in serious conversations with Fairwinds.
The comprehensive plan was ignored. Isnít that wrong?
A: Wrong is not the proper term. Perhaps mishandled is. The future will
be the true judge of how badly the selectmen may have bungled the process.
Q: Why did the vote date keep getting moved
A: Because the lawyers for both sides couldnít hammer out a suitable
agreement that satisfied both parties. That takes time. It is a very
Q: Did Harpswell get everything it wanted in the
A: No, that is unreasonable to think. The process of negotiation is a
process of give and take. Neither side gets everything it wants. Fairwinds
gave up ground, Harpswell had to give up some ground. Thatís how it works.
Q: Does the lease adequately protect Harpswell?
A: Harpswell is protected better than most towns would be, thanks in
part to Dr. Weilís expertise and familiarity within the energy industry
and his knowledge of whom to access for answers. The problem arises only
in the fact that protection from a lease agreement can only extend so far.
Q: Why does protection only extend so far?
A: It is important to understand that a lease is only an agreement
between tenant and landlord and its focus is on acceptable usage of the
land/property in question. The running of the business falls vastly
outside of the scope of the lease agreement and thusly cannot protect the
town from all consequences of housing such a business on that site. A town
cannot tell a business how to run itself. NO business would agree to that.
Q: What types of things are unprotected?
A: Things that are related to the operation and future expansion of the
business. A town can only dictate to a business how it will operate as it
relates to land and resource usage. If land and resource parameters are
met, the town has NO SAY otherwise. All other aspects of the business are
untouchable via a lease agreement. Businesses are in business to grow.
Itís what a business does. A business, by its nature, wants and needs to
sell more of its product. To do that, it needs to know it can continue to
Q: Wow, that means there are huge amount of
things that Conoco Phillips can do that arenít covered through the lease
A: That is correct. One cannot legislate against everything that could
happenÖESPECIALLY via a lease agreement. It is unreasonable, naive and
just wishful thinking to believe one can. The forces of the world are too
wild, woolly and unpredictable to make such a thing even remotely
Q: You mentioned expansion. Can Conoco Phillips
A: There are rules and conditions defined within the lease for
expansion upon the town owned land. Expansion off of town owned land is
not, and cannot be, addressed through a lease agreement. It can be
controlled only through land usage restrictions, which can be changed by
townís people upon future request by Conoco Phillips. The courts and
other powerful influences can also change and mandate their own land usage
restrictions--Or lack thereof. It isnít ALWAYS up to the town, when
involved in dealings and circumstances of this nature, for it to have
complete control over itís own destiny. It is a distinct
possibility that powerful outside bodies (including Fairwinds) will force
their strong will and way upon the town as expansion is an expressed goal
of all LNG facilities. Remember what a businessí fundamental purpose is:
to sell more of its product. To do so, it must be capable of producing
more of its product. With LNG, that means expansion of production
capability. Itís pretty much business 101Öand youíre dealing with very
powerful players. The town may be forced to do things it doesnít like
Safety and terrorism:
Q: Turning to safety; Is LNG safe?
A: The LNG industry has an excellent safety record, but it is a record
that has been established on a small sampling of sites. Small samples are
not known to be accurate predictors of future trends. As the numbers of
sites grow, the opportunity of mishaps grows too. Whether or not the good
record of safety can be maintained is a question for the ages.
Q: What about Algiers?
A: Algiers is a dark blemish on an otherwise sterling record. The
explosion WAS directly tied to LNG/NG and its related operations. It was
not a boiler as originally hoped for by everyone in the LNG industry. One
must recognize that wherever Liquid Natural Gas and Natural Gas are sited,
the potential for an Algiers to occur is ever present, however remote the
possibility. The problem is, should something awful occur where Fairwinds
is sited, the consequences to Harpswell are particularly and uniquely
dire. People live in very close range of the facility and it is nearly
certain that they would become immediate casualties of any unforeseen
disaster. Remember, NOT ONE person, out of hundreds of people who are
involved with the LNG industry who attended a recent trade event, said
that they would be willing to live next to one of their own facilities.
That is a very telling thing.
Q: But isnít LNG harmless, doesnít it just
evaporate and float away on the wind?
A: Characterization of LNG as "harmless" is dangerously inaccurate.
Although not explosive, it burns at a very high heat and is by all
measures exceedingly dangerous. Of particular concern are the unique
properties of LNG and itís interaction with water. A large uncontrolled
open water pool fire is considered to be the most dangerous of all
potential LNG incidents. But a full-scale discussion of LNG dangers and
risks is not appropriate for an FAQ limited by space and complex
discussion. What to take from this discussion is that LNG IS IN NO WAY
SHAPE OR FORM EVER TO BE CONSIDERED HARMLESS, and under certain conditions
can be deadly lethal.
Q: You canít talk about safety without
discussing terrorism. Would the facility be safe from terrorist attack?
A: In todayís world, terrorism is a real threat. The federal government
recognizes the unique attraction of LNG to terrorists. It is nearly
impossible to insure that any facility is completely safe from a terrorist
attack. With enough motivation and planning, penetration is possible. Yet
this can be said of all terrorist targets.
Q: But the probability of a terrorist attack on
LNG is low, right?
A: Prediction of random events, by their nature, is impossible.
Terrorism attacks are a random event. Also, one must be mindful of the
future. Today, itís a terrorist attack. Tomorrow, it could be an act of
Q: But Harpswell is a small town, isnít it
likely terrorists will attack a more populated area?
A: Terrorists go after the newsworthy; any casualties are incidental to
their core purpose. In this sense, Harpswell will suit their need as fine
as any other site. In some ways, Harpswell is MORE attractive.
Q: This concerns me. In what ways is Harpswell
A: Terrorists look for the easiest, most exposed spots to attack. Such
are called "Soft Targets" due to their vulnerability and lack of harder to
penetrate defenses. Places like Boston, with its large population
exposure, are secured tighter than a drum during LNG delivery activity and
ongoing operations. The same level of security may not exist in Harpswell.
That makes it a more attractive target to terrorists.
Q: Canít Harpswell just keep security tight?
A: Yes, but keeping tight security is a major inconvenience to the town
citizenry, and it is uncertain if town residents would be able to
consistently maintain the patience and focus required to stay ever
vigilant. Vigilance also costs money. It is also uncertain whether the
town will be willing to consistently budget and fund the amount needed to
properly maintain a tightly woven security net. Itís expensive.
The money and the studies:
Q: But the town will receive eight million
dollars in revenue from the lease, wonít that be enough money to afford
A: Probably not. The town will have many, many other pressures
demanding its attention and monetary resources. It is not certain that
there will be enough dollars remaining, or even whether security will be
considered a priority item, in the town budget.
Q: Why? Where is all the lease money going?
A: That is a very, very complex question, and it simply cannot be
answered in proper detail in an FAQ. A predictive analysis outlining some
of the future pressures the town will be dealing with was commissioned
from The Yellow Woods Associates by Fairplay, a Harpswell citizenís group,
to ascertain some of the socio-economic impacts that might arise from the
placement of the facility in Harpswell.
Q: What did the socio-economic report say?
A: The full scope of the report is too comprehensive to address in an
FAQ. For a summary analysis, please read the report at this link:
In a nutshell, at the very least, the report dispels the notion that
the lease revenue comes without any other considerations or strings
attached and will be a cost free financial windfall for the town.
Q: Do you mean the lease revenue ISNíT a huge
financial windfall for Harpswell?
A: Not really. When all considerations are factored and accounted for,
the lease revenue is NOT the windfall that Fairwindís proponents and
salespeople have portrayed it to be. This is particularly exposed when
factoring in the wish lists currently being drafted by hopeful town
special interests. The revenue income would dissipate in a puff of green
smoke if even a small portion of the special interests were entertained.
As illustrated by all the available concrete evidence, the town will
need to concentrate largely on its own infrastructure to manage and
support the changes Fairwinds will bring. There isnít going to be a
lot of money left about for other niceties. Fairwinds will make things
different in Harpswell; not necessarily better, but definitely different.
It will change the town dramatically Ömaking it better for someÖworse for
Q: If the lease revenue isnít a windfall, then
why should town voters want to allow Fairwinds to build in Harpswell?
Wonít such a thing change the character of Harpswell? Wonít it change it
from a rural community to an industrial one?
A: This is the central question of the whole issue. Modification of
the comprehensive plan to invite and allow industrial elements into the
community is a new course for Harpswell and represents a fundamental
change in the future vision of the townís developmental direction.
Harpswell is choosing what its character will be when it grows up. Each
voter must vote their conscience and their interpretation of their vision
of Harpswellís future character. This is the core decision for the townís
and their future. They are leaving a heritage of fishing and
aquaculture and moving towards an industrial horizon.
Q: Isnít the money aspect disputed? I heard that
Fairwinds commissioned its own studyÖ
A: A public relations firm provided a set of numbers to the Maine State
Department of Planning and had the agency run its stock "Maine Regional
Output Simulation Model" on those numbers. The model is rudimentary and is
a simple computer formula. It can be skewed wildly dependent upon the
accuracy of the original input data and constructive assumptions made. The
Office of Planning takes no position on its relevancy other than to state,
"We ran the numbers we were given." They even did not know it was for
Fairwinds when they ran them. Some of the conclusions, when studied
closely, appear counter-logical to the point of downright
Q: So it is not a study, and nothing in it
relates to the socio-economic impact specific to Harpswell?
A: It is not remotely close to a study, does not fall into the same
category as a study, and not in any way is specific to Harpswell with its
numbers. It is a simple REGIONAL model. It does not address any impacts
peculiar to Harpswell Township.
Q: I find it hard to believe that eight million
dollars can flow into the community and the town wonít see a benefit. How
can that be?
A: The revenue comes into the bucket through one source and leaves
through a thousand new holes, which are created by the impact of the
venture-- some smaller, some larger. There will be some benefit to a
certain groups of individuals as town government (not the general
populationóthat is a major distinction) will be the primary beneficiary of
Fairwinds. Others groups will be fiercely hurt.
Q: What groups of townspeople does the presence
of Fairwinds hurt?
A: In general, the worst impacted groups fall primarily into two main
categories: 1) Near-facility property owners who will witness precipitous
reductions in their property values and 2) Fishermen and harvesters who
rely on the bounty of Middle Bay to derive a living. Fairwinds is expected
to have an impact on the ecosystem and catch both during its construction
and concurrent with ongoing operations.
Q: Is that all?
A: No, there are fishermen/harvesters from other towns and those who
fish other Harpswell waters who will be impacted as those immediately
adversely affected migrate to survive and run into conflicts with
competitive existing territories. The slices of the already shrinking pie
just get thinner. Also, Harpswell taxpayers will be immediately impacted
if Fairwinds is allowed as taxation burdens shift away from the devalued
properties towards the remainder of the town. Devalued property owners
will pay less in taxes, other property owners in town will likely see
increases in valuation (due to demand) and higher tax bills (due to both
higher valuation and shifting of tax burden responsibility from devalued
propertiesí lowered tax bills to them.)
Q: Doesnít the Yellow Woods Report also predict
that taxes will eventually rise to higher than current levels after a
short period of reduction?
A: Yes, it does.
Q: What about the permanent jobs Fairwindís
A: There are 50 total positions available. Most will require a set of
unique skills and Fairwinds will not guarantee that they will be awarded
to Harpswell residents (who may legitimately not possess the skill sets
necessary to perform the available jobs). "Jobs" is not a large benefit
derived from Fairwinds.
Q: What about the construction jobs?
A: They are temporary and again, largely will be imported from outside
the townÖas the construction firms who also require special trade skill
sets will bring their existing crews. It is of little consequence
(employment-wise) as most Harpswellians are already gainfully employed
Q: Doesnít the lease have a mitigation fund to
address the losses to fishermen created by operations?
A: The mitigation fund is controversial and there are large gaps in its
coverage. It is not a comprehensive program of complete coverage. It falls
short in two very essential ways: 1) The amount of the fund will be
insufficient to cover the amount of expected losses and 2) No coverage is
provided for losses related to construction and ongoing operation of the
Q: Canít fishermen just sue for damage related
to the pipeline to recover their losses?
A: Yes, they can. The problem arises when the time element is factored
Q: What is the time element?
A: Lawsuits take time. Damages, both immediate and ongoing, must be
accurately studied and calculated. It is an extremely complex process that
takes a long time to complete.
Q: Why is that a problem; the fishermen will get
some settlement if theyíve been injured?
A: Living during the wait is the problem. Household bills still need to
get paid during the process. It could drag on for years, and the certainty
of the outcome is not accurately predictable to any degree. For all intent
and purpose, the impacted businesses, the fishing families, will be forced
out of operations.
Q: I donít believe that Fairwinds will impact
the fishermanís business; is this correct?
A: No, you are a "moron in denial" who is ignorant of reality. It is
decidedly proven beyond the shadow of any doubt that EVERYWHERE SIMILAR
OPERATIONS HAVE OCCURRED, IMPACT HAS OCCURRED. The question is never one
of impact, but one of how deep the impacts are and how long the effects
last, and what to what extent ongoing operations will continue to have
Q: What about the abutters? Is there any
compensation program for them?
A: No. They approached Fairwinds in an attempt to seek redress, but
were rebutted and rejected out of hand.
Q: Why do the abutters feel that their
properties are in jeopardy? The fuel farm existed there prior to
Fairwinds. Isnít it sort of the same thing?
A: Not even in the wildest attempt at any comparison. The fuel farm was
active very infrequently. Fairwinds is a round-the-clock 24/7 full time
ongoing operation. There is no comparison, however remote.
Q: But why are they saying their property values
will drop? Didnít property values increase exponentially over time while
the fuel depot was there?
A: Yes, they did. But the presence of the fuel depot is not a salient
factor in the underlying cause of the wholesale property increases. There
was universal increase in property values due to an increase in societal
demand for shorefront property. The more pertinent question is: Did
properties close to the fuel depot increase proportionally relevant to
properties NOT located near the fuel depot?
Q: Well, did they?
A: No. Properties away from the fuel depot increased proportionally
more than close located properties-- which remained price-deflated by
comparison. The fuel depot is a pricing detriment. Fairwinds will
exponentially exacerbate the devaluation effect.
Q: Why is this a problem? They donít have to
sell. The losses wonít be realized until they do.
A: Many donít want to sell. Some will be forced to sell as their lives
and situations change. Financing and refinancing become a huge problem.
The potential for reverse mortgages, an option for the financially
struggling elderly to tap into their largest single asset, becomes
impossible. Oneís home is the average Americanís single biggest
investment. That investment becomes decimated by Fairwinds.
Q: But wonít the elderly and the poor be helped
by the cash flow into the town?
A: Generally, no. Just the opposite is anticipated. Prices of goods and
services will rise as demand for them increases. Prices of rents, real
estate, energy, foodÖall costs of living will outpace the limited
resources of groups on fixed incomes. In that sense, Fairwinds will hurt
this group on a day-to-day basis. Taxes may rise also. The town may become
too expensive for them to afford. If the town has any money left after
expenses that are mandated or required, then affordable housing and social
programs may improve the lot of the poor and fixed income families. Yet,
it would also be reasonable to assume that their priority would fall low
on the list of the townís desired expenditures. Being already
disenfranchised and not politically powerful, there are many stronger
advocates that may siphon off the available funds before they trickle down
to the townís economically challenged.
Q: Will Fairwinds hurt tourism?
A: Probably, to some degree. The extent of the impact of Fairwinds on
tourism is very hard to calculate. It is especially unknown as there is so
much uncertainty left surrounding the extent of intrusion and disruption
that will be caused by Fairwinds. If the project proves to ultimately be
very intrusive and disruptive, the damage to tourism will be great. If
not, then damage will be lessened. But by most reasonable assessments,
there will be some depressive impact on the tourism industry directly
correlated to Fairwindís presence and ongoing activities.
Q: What are some of the core issues I should be
considering when I go to vote?
A: This is best answered by a list:
First and foremost: What is my future vision of Harpswell? Is it a
more industrial, developed and populated town? Or is it one whose
central appeal remains bucolic and primarily pastoral? Do I want to
allow heavy industry in the town, or should the townís primary
economic roots and future direction remain with its traditional
maritime heritage? A proven industry, the townís largest collective
employer, is being asked to step aside for a new, yet unproven
industrial element to the town. The financial hit suffered by the
fishing industry will be significant, widespread and multi-level. It
will ripple throughout the whole town and the region, affecting ALL
involved in the industry (regardless of someoneís own individual mis-beliefsóthis
is what will transpire) and will subsequently have a suppressing
effect on all related businesses and economies in both Harpswell and
the surrounding industry-dependent region. It is setting the course
for a new industrial direction for the town at the expense of its
historic culture and heritage. It is absolutely fine if this is your
choice, but please know that this is at the core of the choice that
you are making. The decision is all about your future vision of
Harpswell. It is: "What do you want your town to be when it grows up?"
Make this decision without regard for money. For it is hotly
debated whether there will ever be any money available from Fairwinds.
The opposite may be true. It may cost the town money.
Consider what your vote would be outside of the disputed financial
issues. In all likelihood, there wonít be any personal
monetary benefit derived from Fairwinds.
How concerned am I about the safety of LNG and its terrorist
potential? Will I be uncomfortable having the facility sited in town?
Will I be worried more about living in town when federal terrorist
alerts rise to yellow, orange, or red? These are valid concerns. Do
not dismiss them lightly. LNG is potentially lethally dangerous. You
also must be willing to occasionally accommodate tight security
measures and inconveniences that are caused by the presence of LNG in
Are you comfortable with the pain this will bring to others? For it
will bring hardship upon some of your fellow neighbors. You must be
willing to sacrifice others for the new direction if you vote for
Fairwinds. Related to this is whether or not you feel there are better
solutions not yet explored. There are solutions to the townís problems
(and the fuel depot) that do not require anyone having to sacrifice
their livelihoods or their investments in their properties. Do you
feel there are viable alternatives to Fairwinds where both the town
can win, and in doing so, prevent any injury from being inflicted upon
any segment of it citizenry?
Do you find the industrial look of things to be attractive? This
may be a contributing element to your decision.
Q: Will Harpswell ever recover from this
A: Recovery starts immediately with a ĎNOí decision. If the town goes
in the affirmative, only time will tell.
The closing qualifier:
Q: Can everything be covered fully in an FAQ?
A: No, Virginia, it canít.
I hope this helps everyone in providing some food for thought when
mulling over this important decision facing you and the town. Everything
in it is my opinion, but my opinion is grounded and based on the facts as
I know them to be true.
And I know far more about all of this that I ever desired. Waaaayyy
more. Iíve nearly become a bloody expert. This is something I never wanted
My recommendation is: Vote "No"
Harpswell is not appropriate for this venture. It is not made better by
Fairwinds. It is only changed by it. I, personally, do not like said
changes. That is my opinion.
Iím done. Iíve said everything here I could think of to provide you
with the balance of things as I weighed my decision.
Beautiful Harpswell Maine.