LePage: High Electricity Rates? Blame Wind Power

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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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25 COMMENTS

  1. Maine Power Options, a State operated buying group for towns and schools pays 8.9 cents to Constellation out of CT for over 220 million Kwh. A competitive company charges 5.6 cents or a difference of over 7 million dollars per year. When will the MPO be REQUIRED to get competitive bids?

  2. Too much common sense in that proposal. The State doing something to benefit all people of Maine by lowering electric bills against the wishes of a few special interest groups.

  3. If you read the law you site you are the one misleading the people I hope people are smart enough to see your con job The RPS limits the size of power plants that can be counted as “renewable” at 100MW, excepting wind farms. and that’s the point !!!!

  4. If this is about the environment and not about money their should be no cap wind power is a big government failure waste and causing the destruction of the Maine we natives Love ! Fill in the wet lands , Killing the wild life bird and bats , Causing Global warming threw deforestation and blasting off the mountains ! Read the wind Law and see that wind power plays by rule no one else can ! Special treatment for out of state interest out of state company’s and power for out of state city’s why don’t you look into the facts or are you paid of by big wind too ? why did Tom Carroll say this in the Bangor Daly news ? ” Tom Carroll, project coordinator with Patriot Renewables LLC, which is building wind farms in Dixfield, Woodstock and Carthage, said technically, the electricity his projects are creating is being sold to an entity in Massachusetts.” http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/25/business/maine-doesnt-need-wind-power-group-says/

  5. If this is about the environment and not about money their should be no cap wind power is a big government failure waste and causing the destruction of the Maine we natives Love ! Fill in the wet lands , Killing the wild life bird and bats , Causing Global warming threw deforestation and blasting off the mountains ! Read the wind Law and see that wind power plays by rule no one else can ! Special treatment for out of state interest out of state company’s and power for out of state city’s why don’t you look into the facts or are you paid of by big wind too ? why did Tom Carroll say this in the Bangor Daly news ? ” Tom Carroll, project coordinator with Patriot Renewables LLC, which is building wind farms in Dixfield, Woodstock and Carthage, said technically, the electricity his projects are creating is being sold to an entity in Massachusetts.” http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/25/business/maine-doesnt-need-wind-power-group-says/

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  8. Citizens who have taken the time to learn the FACTS (instead of being led astray by [foreign] corporate propaganda) know that the Governor speaks the truth. Please take the time to do independent research. It’s not too late to make decisions which are economiclly and environmentally and ethically sound.

  9. People need to understand that a very high proportion of whatever power is produced by wind sites in Maine is contractually destined to go to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Maine’s taxpayers, though, are footing the bill with subsidies provided to the developers and with higher rates on electricity bills to upgrade the power distribution system to ship the juice south.

    The renewable mandates in those southern states is, largely, responsible for the destruction of habitat and scenic vistas in Maine. If people would take the time to study this issue, they will discover that there is no reason that Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut could not erect towers in their own backyards or coastal areas.

    If those states were responsible for building coal powered generation facilities in Maine, the outcry would be deafening. Instead, because it is a liberal, ideological goal, wind turbines and the destruction they cause are ignored.

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