News & Notes

Action Alert! Take a Stand Against Solar Rollbacks

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Posted on:

You may heard about the batch of bad bills the Governor just proposed: bills that attack solar power, other renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and steal money from the Bureau of Parks and Lands.

How You Can Help:

Today, there is a public hearing on the worst of these bills (LD 1400 and LD 1397)

Here’s a run-down of these bad bills:

LD 1400 takes a wrecking ball to all of Maine’s clean energy laws. If passed, this bill would eliminate net-metering, which is Maine’s ONLY current policy that compensates homeowners and businesses by providing a credit on electric bills for the solar power they produce. This bill would also eliminate the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires that a certain percentage of Maine’s power come from new clean, renewable energy resources. And finally, this bill substantially cuts funding to help Maine’s largest businesses and employers (such as mills and manufacturers) improve the energy efficiency of their facilities.

LD 1397 would set a terrible precedent and increase pressure to cut more timber on public lands. The bill diverts money from revenue generated by timber harvesting on public lands to provide heating assistance to low income Mainers. This is the money for which the Governor is holding the Land for Maine’s Future bond money hostage. Providing heat assistance to low income Mainers is a worthy policy objective, but there are better options available to meet this need. Legislators have introduced a bill (LD 1215) that offers a simple fix to the Efficiency Maine program. This bill, which the Governor opposes, would provide a lot more money to help low income Mainers stay warm next winter.  The bill received 11-2 vote in Committee.

For more information on conservation funding, visit our website.

LD 1398 would cut business energy-efficiency funding by $5-6 million per year, consequently increasing heating and electricity bills for Maine businesses by $25-30 million per year. A public hearing has not been scheduled for this bill, but you can email the Energy Committee today.

Instead of dismantling Maine’s clean energy laws, we should be moving forward with solar power and energy efficiency to help reduce our fossil fuel dependence and lessen climate-changing pollution.

Please help us defeat these bills.

For more information, please contact:

JenniferJenn Burns Gray

Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate

[email protected]

(207) 781-2330 x224