News

VIDEO: Governor releases video, "Energy: Maine’s Economic Barrier"

on

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage released today a new video highlighting Maine’s energy future. The Governor speaks directly to Mainers during a three minute video, titled Energy: Maine’s Economic Barrier, which is displayed on the Office of the Governor website.

Recent reports conclude that millions of dollars are wasted and jobs are on the line due to government mandates, such as Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. A report from London Economics International found that Maine’s RPS could inflate residential customers electricity prices by $12 million per year. The Maine Heritage Policy Center and Beacon Hill Institute also confirms, by 2017, the RPS mandate will add $145 million in overall electricity rates. Both analyses confirm that higher electricity prices result in job loss – some estimates as high as 1000 jobs.

“Federal subsidies are paid for by Maine ratepayers. So we have to find renewable energy sources that do not require subsidies. There are many such as hydro, bio-mass, the pellet industry, heat pumps and natural gas,” Governor LePage comments in the video. “There are renewable energies and other alternative energies that could reduce the cost of energy for Mainers.”

Maine has the 12th highest electricity prices in the United States. Maine’s 2010 average all-sector retail price was 31% above the national average decreasing to 26% above in 2011. In March 2012, the standard offer rate for Residential and Small Commercial customers decreased by approximately one cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) – electricity usage in Maine is billed in terms of cents per kWh of electricity consumed – saving consumers approximately $50 million per year.

With the legislative session approaching, Governor LePage is focused on lowering the price of electricity which will not only save Maine ratepayers millions of dollars per year but will also improve the competitive position to foster economic development and job growth in our State. The LePage Administration supports allowing the marketplace to determine which energy sources are most competitive, which in turn, will lower energy prices to benefit businesses. In order to ensure an affordable, adequate and reliable supply of electricity for Maine residents and to encourage the use of renewable resources the Governor will propose to remove the 100MW cap on renewable energy in the RPS. Currently, qualifying renewable hydropower is limited to the 100MW cap which is artificially increasing electricity rates for Maine consumers and companies.

“We cannot expect to attract good paying jobs if companies can’t afford to do business in Maine. Addressing our high energy rates with common sense reform will allow us to make Maine more competitive with other states and put us in a better position in the global market as well,” Governor LePage said.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson the editor of The Maine Wire. A native of Dexter, Maine, Robinson is a graduate of Bowdoin College.

Recommended for you

Discuss this story
Organicgardener says:

from the Freedom Falls hydro restoration web site:

“It has been proposed to FERC that this hydropower system be exempt from licensing because of its small size.

The exemption application is extensive, requiring consultation with all possibly interested regulatory agencies (federal, state and local), and the public and the Penobscot Tribe, since this was historically Penobscot territory.

Although all of the above have encouraged proceeding with the project and have found no detrimental environmental effects, it will still take over a year from start to finish to receive this exemption.

Interestingly, the FERC exemption would not be required if we were using mechanical waterpower. It is connecting to the grid that puts the facility under FERC’s jurisdiction.

The main reason this project is not more complicated environmentally is that there is no evidence of historical migration in this stream of Atlantic Salmon (a federally listed endangered species) or alewives. American eels are the only migratory species, and providing passage for them is relatively easy and inexpensive.”

Organicgardener says:

There will be regulatory reform proposed so that home owners and entrepreneurs can restore small hydro facilities to provide localized power.

The mish-mosh of confusing and conflicting regulations will be streamlined with a genuine one-stop shopping service that is applicant friendly and reasonably priced.

Recently a bureaucrat from DEP bragged that an applicant spent only $4,000 to get a permit…..and this for a facility that cost far less to build.

When the permits and time to obtain, cost more than the cost and time to build a microhydro power plant; you know that government has become a prohibitory burden to making progress in the area of localized energy production.

Which is potentially more harmful? Semi-automatic weapons or a small 10 KW turbine?

Which is easiest and cheapest to permit?

Dan McKay says:

Are the other States in New England listening ? Hydro power is clean and less expensive than grid wind and grid solar. Somebody in Massachusetts must already know this, A million megawatt-hours of electricity from Canada was delivered to Mass. this past August.

streamweaver says:

I agree completely with the Governor. But words, videos and the new legislative session are not enough.

The Governor has to take firm action immediately to defeat First Wind’s obsession with destroying the Downeast Lakes area with their VERY poorly sited Bowers wind project.

Please, Governor, DO something.