Articles filed under Energy Policy from Maine

Maine lawmakers expected to vote Thursday on sweeping energy policy bill

The committee took no action on the bill Wednesday. The panel’s co-chair, Sen. David Woodsome, R-York, said he hopes to hold a work session and vote on the bill Thursday. With time running out for the panel to wrap up for the session, lawmakers are under pressure to either kill the measure, adopt certain provisions or hold over the bill for consideration next year.
28 May 2015

Maine lawmakers consider taking away wind power’s expedited permits

The bill, L.D. 1329, would eliminate the “expedited permitting” that industry supporters say has been key to making Maine the top wind power state in New England. Critics contend, however, that the law has forced Maine taxpayers to subsidize a costly and unpredictable energy source that mars the landscape while offering few, if any, environmental benefits.
6 May 2015

Maine governor: Wind power is too expensive

The governor wants to move Maine instead toward a greater reliance on hydropower and is again pushing to modify the state's policies to facilitate the purchase of power from large-scale projects in Canada. His administration is also launching another bid to revamp the state's renewable targets to include the goal of lower cost to ratepayers. "If these (wind) projects are going to come, I want them to benefit the people who are most affected by it," said Patrick Woodcock, director of the Governor's Energy Office.
5 Apr 2015

Maine thinks again on 116MW

Commissioners in December approved term sheets for SunEdison’s 72.6MW Weaver and NextEra Energy Resources’ 44MW Highland projects ...However, one of the three commissioners has since been replaced and the board recently voted 2-1 to renegotiate the terms based on falling energy prices.
18 Mar 2015

LD 1750: A study in how special interests get their way in the Maine legislature

Democratic Rep. Ralph Chapman, D-Brooksville, who has been a critic of special interests’ influence in the Statehouse, voted against L.D. 1750. He said he’s concerned about “the degree to which legislators are corporate clients, rather than spokespeople for the people they represent. “A lot of major legislation is written by law firms representing the clients whom the legislation is designed to help.”
7 Jan 2015

Leveling the playing field

Maine — and the nation — have had ample time to realize that the wind industry has never fulfilled its promise in the three decades since state and federal governments began doling out tax credits and subsidies. The industry continues to claim it needs special consideration and taxpayer support, even as developers have tucked millions upon millions of dollars into their own pockets.
12 Dec 2014

Foes renew challenge of joint wind-power venture

The three-year battle against a $333 million joint wind-power venture between First Wind and Emera took a new turn on Tuesday, when opponents to the deal filed a fresh challenge at the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. A notice of the court appeal also was filed at the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
29 Oct 2014

PUC approves giant wind deal — again

Alan Stone, attorney for appellant the Houlton Water Co., said the two commissioners who approved the deal had not followed the direction set by the Supreme Judicial Court. “We don’t believe that what the commission did today really addressed the issues” raised by the court, said Stone.
23 Jul 2014

Conservation group slams 'secret' work between governors, utilities

“The states and NESCOE are deliberately working out the details of this plan in secret, consistent with the view of one of NESCOE’s staffers that the plan should be ‘formulated behind closed doors’ because the ‘court of public opinion can be fickle and recalcitrant,’ ” Courchesne wrote, quoting an email from a NESCOE staff member to Executive Director Heather Hunt.
25 Jun 2014

LD 616 is about more than just wind

This is not about good wind vs. bad wind, folks. This is about citizens’ rights. Much research has been done to determine how this UT law change could have happened in the first place. Unfortunately, all the legal “i’s” were dotted and “t’s” were crossed. Barely. Developers and Environmental NGOs had more notice and access to the process than the citizens affected, but that’s another story for another day. The moral to that story is “watch your back at all times”, though.
28 Mar 2014

Welcome mat not fully out, Northeast Wind Summit comes to Maine

“They are a motivated and organized trade association,” said Chris O’Neil, a lawyer for the Friends of Maine’s Mountains citizen group. “We continue to see Big Wind scrambling to build whatever projects they can before the honeymoon is over and their product totally falls out of favor.” O”Neil said that as federal subsidies for wind power dry up, the industry will find itself outperformed and priced out of the market by other generators.
26 Mar 2014

LePage slams ‘green’ energy at clean-tech business forum

LePage admonished participants at the forum, many who are involved in clean-sector businesses focused on energy efficiency, biomass, solar and wind power, not to expect the public to foot the bill for the cost of research and development. A vocal opponent of Maine’s wind power policies and any additional costs they put on ratepayers, LePage indicated the state now seems to be favoring solar subsidies.
20 Mar 2014

Could a governor-backed bill put Maine's wind future In jeopardy?

L.D.1791 was amended to keep the megawatt goals - a small victory for wind advocates - but the bill now also seeks to require developers to prove a project’s economic worth before receiving approval from the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. The original bill had included a goal, not a mandate, that a developer substantiate job creation and lower electricity rates.
18 Mar 2014
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