At the request of some of my readers, I'm going to do my best to pretend that the Gulf oil spill never happened and serve up positive stories of a world in which political leaders are not owned by petroleum executives, in which the Coast Guard actually works to protect people rather than the public image of a polluting corporation, and in which we are all healthy and prosperous because our towns are powered by abundant, clean renewables like solar and wind.

Just last week, U.S. based wind company First Wind put up a great YouTube post of several new wind installations in Maine that show that not only is wind power possible today, it is a major economic stimulus to regions hard hit by the recession. In Mars Hill, Maine, the town mayor made the bold decision to bring in wind power as an economic driver.

Some were skeptical at first, but with $500,000 of new tax revenue (from the sale of wind to Maine's utility) the town council is not complaining. Stetson, another project in Maine, had a construction budget of $65 million. $50 million of that went to more than 100 companies located in Maine, expanding Maine's manufacturing industry at a time when layoffs were widespread.

I think this is the kind of future we all want to see, but beware — the big utilities are onto our utopian vision. Unfortunately for Californians, such projects may no longer be possible due to a completely diabolical ballot measure called Prop 16 which seeks to prevent small communities from creating their own cooperatively owned green energy projects. If you live in California make sure and vote NO on Prop 16 and tell all your friends. We want local power!

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