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LePage: High Electricity Rates? Blame Wind Power

Paul LePage
AUGUSTA – Republican Gov. Paul R. LePage told Mainers on Saturday that electricity rates in the Pine Tree State are far too high and the state-mandated wind power industry is to blame.

“Maine’s energy costs are 10th highest in the nation, and our electric bills are 34 percent higher than the national average,” said the Governor. “But it does not have to be this way. Affordable energy is available right here in Maine and just across our northern border.”

LePage has been engaged in negotiations with Canadian officials regarding a deal that could drastically lower electricity rates Maine’s businesses and families pay. But LePage said our friends to the North are reluctant to do business with Maine because of King and Baldacci area policies that limit Maine’s use of hydro power and mandate the use of more expensive wind power.

“I traveled recently to Canada to meet with officials from Hydro Quebec, which has plenty of hydro power to sell at very affordable prices,” said LePage. “They told me that selling power to Maine is not worth it. And it’s all because Maine has a limit on how much renewable energy we can use, including hydropower.”

“Under Governors King and Baldacci, legislators enacted RPS — the Renewable Portfolio Standard — which restricts us to using only 100 megawatts of hydropower,” said LePage. “Hydro Quebec has 41,000 megawatts of energy to sell, but they sell it in 1,000 megawatts increments,” he said. “They wouldn’t even consider selling as little as 100 megawatts.”

“Here in Maine, we have over 700 megawatts of installed capacity for hydropower. It is clean, it is renewable and it is affordable. So why would we limit hydropower?” said LePage. “The answer is simple: Wind.”

Because of RPS, said LePage, the average residential consumer will pay $365 more in electricity over the next five years. He said RPS will cost the average industrial user more than $63,000 in the next five years.

“Folks, it doesn’t have to be this way,” said LePage. “That’s why I have introduced a bill to remove the 100-megawatt limit on renewable sources of energy, including hydropower.”

“Tell your legislators you want affordable electricity, and you want it now.”

Read the Governor’s entire address here. 

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