Fishing in Public

by “Tackle Box” Billy Kelley

Dear Governor Janet

Hey folks, one and all — you being the “one” in this salutation, Governor Janet. Please forgive any mishaps in this letter. I’ve been writing this column for years but I’ve yet to write a letter of such import.

“And what is so important to write me about?” you may ask. “And why me?” you may ask.

At the risk of too much flattery, you are what we’d call a “go-getter.” And Jesus H. Christ, about goddamn time. It’s been eight years of fucking idiocy — and that’s a compliment. Talk about a step in the right direction. The way you’ve moved on Medicaid and the opiate problem — if I was a sensitive type, it’d have brung a tear to my eye. I picked the right person, alright.

I’m writing about renewable energy, one of our most important hurdles yet to be leapt. Our country is once again lagging. Europe has tidal energy plants all over the place. Hell, even South Korea beats us. Show some shame, U.S.A. Go to the corner.

A big part of the opposition to renewable energy projects is people bitchin’ that it’ll ruin their precious view. Boo-hoo. They forget the fact that Block Island, 13 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, has a big offshore wind farm and tourists still mob the place every summer.

Water-based energy has been in use for thousands of years, we believe. Yessire, the ol’ timers used water to grind up corn, wheat, you name it. I know some of you are thinking, “Oh boy, weed!” Well, maybe. They’ve yet to discover that kind of usage, but hey, who knows?

This brings to mind the days I’d sit and fish on the trestle out by the baked bean factory. During the idle times between hits I’d oft wonder, “Jeez, why don’t someone use the force of the water underneath Tukeys Bridge for something useful?” Hey, maybe now we could.

You know, there are many types of ways to get energy from water. But there’s only one tidal power project in all North America, up in the Bay of Fundy. I’m not gonna get into those numbers — gigawatts, megawatts, it goes on. Suffice it to say it produces enough electricity to fire up Christmas trees for a gazillion folks in Nova Scotia.

There’s wave power too. The pilot project in New York’s infamous East River, the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project, only generates one megawatt, but I do believe it’ll be one heckuva eye-opener.

There are three types of tidal power gizmos. One is called a tidal stream generator. It’s like an underwater turbine that uses water instead of wind to spin.

Another is the tidal barrage generator. It’s like a dam out in the bay that makes energy when the tide goes in and out. The biggest one’s in South Korea. I seen some pretty nice pictures — you know, sailboats floating around and such. Pretty serene, I do say. Most of the apparatus is below the waterline, and what little does stick out some artists could easily decorate.

The third kind is called a tidal fence. It’s a cross between the other two, like a tidal barrage that uses turbines. We don’t really need the details now. In my heart, I believe this is the correct one for us.

There’s only seven tidal power stations in the whole wide world. Pretty damn dismal number, wouldn’t you say? I think it should be 70. Imagine, no more energy crises! Well, it is possible.

Now, what I am saying to you, Governor Janet, is you got so much to do already that you certainly got no time to plan to build any kind of power stations. So you got to appoint someone that can. And from what I seen so far, you will waste no time in expediting matters.

We must do this in Maine, as we have the fast-moving water so necessary to get energy from such a structure. We sure got enough out-of-work fishermen to build one, don’t we?

I just read Edgar Allen Beem’s column about your inauguration and the African girls who sang and all that. The more I read about you, the more I like, and the more sure I am that I’m writing to the right person. And the more I hope I’m around to see just what the future holds. I’m having high aspirations for you.

As for all the rest of you, push for any kind of water power you can. I really see it as the way of the future. Without further ado, let’s move!

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