Governor Mills: “I want you to hear the truth about the NECEC project directly from me.”

Last night, thousands of Maine households turned up their thermostats to keep their families warm as cold weather engulfed us. At $2.90 a gallon, many households are spending their precious savings on heating oil.

The State of Maine sends five billion dollars out of state every year to pay for our use of nonrenewable fossil fuels. We’re the most dependent on heating oil of any state in the country with nearly 70 percent of Maine homeowners relying on oil for heat.

Our high costs of energy and electricity are a barrier to our health and a deterrent to our economy, and our cars and trucks account for more than half of our carbon dioxide emissions.

I ran for the office of Governor with a promise to reduce this dangerous reliance on fossil fuels, to address our carbon footprint, and to accept the challenge of preventing and mitigating climate change.

We simply cannot afford to do nothing.

Good morning, I am Governor Janet Mills, and thank you for listening.

This week I announced that Maine would become part of the bipartisan United States Climate Alliance, with the goal of reducing our state’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050 and achieving 100 percent renewable generation of electricity by that same year.

Consistent with these goals, I authorized the Governor’s Office of Energy to sign onto a Stipulation before the Public Utilities Commission with a number of added provisions regarding the transmission line proposal in western Maine. These added provisions will help us wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.

Many parties now agree that the project should go through. These parties include the Conservation Law Foundation, the Acadia Center, electrical union IBEW, the Maine Public Advocate, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the nonprofit Western Mountains & Rivers Corporation, the City of Lewiston and the Industrial Energy Consumers Group.

You know I expect – and I welcome – a robust and truthful discussion regarding this New England Clean Energy Connect project, a discussion that should be based on facts, not speculation and fear.

But you may have seen the campaign on Facebook and TV this week funded by someone who refuses to be identified -- maybe it’s one of those big oil or gas companies wanting to continue taking money out of your pocket. But here is what is clear: that ad misrepresents my position and the process that resulted in this stipulation.

I want you to hear the facts directly from me.

During my campaign for Governor I said I had serious concerns about the transmission line proposal. I questioned whether it offered concrete benefits to Maine people. I always said that I wanted to see substantial benefits for Maine people before I could support it.

Well, once I took office, I dug in to the file and I consulted with people I trust on all sides. I asked HydroQuebec to come to the table and I insisted that the project, if it were to go forward, include electric vehicle charging stations, provisions to support solar and other renewables, broadband access, heat pumps and similar non- fossil fuel heating mechanisms, as well as cash relief for ratepayers over and above the benefits to Maine electricity consumers of lower prices for all of New England.

I consulted with outside experts and I relied on the objective report of those experts hired by the staff of the PUC to analyze the price benefits of this project and its real impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As a result, the stipulation I authorized the Governor’s Energy Office to sign onto last week is markedly different from where things had stood at the end of last year.

So, here is the truth.

This project, if further permitted, will put our state and our region on the road to a zero-carbon economy by 2050. This isn’t CMP saying this; it’s the experts. And, it’s me.

The stipulation will allow thousands of Maine low and middle-income families to shut off the furnace and heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer with modern heat pumps.

It will put our state in the lead nationally, per capita, in electric vehicle usage, creating a network of charging stations that will enable us to travel anywhere across the state.

By all objective analyses, it will suppress the price of electricity in Maine and across the region, saving Maine residents alone millions of dollars each year in electricity costs. In addition, there is that $50 million Low Income Customer Benefits Fund that will be administered by the Office of Public Advocate and a $140 million fund to further reduce electricity rates for Maine consumers.

With an investment of more than $30 million in broadband, in education and scholarships, and other community benefits, this project will boost, not diminish, the Maine economy. In the first ten years, the project will provide nearly $1 billion in economic benefits to the state, including several thousand jobs in western Maine during the peak of construction -- jobs sorely needed in rural areas of our state.

Finally, while enhancing the reliability of the New England grid to avoid blackouts and brownouts, the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in New England by 3.6 million metric tons per year — that is the equivalent of removing 767,000 passenger vehicles from our roads.

Importantly, the stipulation creates a new special purpose entity -- not Central Maine Power -- to build and operate this transmission line.

And guess what. It will cost Maine ratepayers nothing. Massachusetts will foot the bill.

Now I recognize the concerns of those who oppose the project, many of whom are worried about the environmental impacts. Western Maine you know is where I live. Where I was born and grew up, it will always be my home. No one loves western Maine more than I do. No one cares about this state more than I do.

So, I know that this project will now undergo a rigorous environmental review, with public input and comment, at the DEP, at the Land Use Planning Commission, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Presidential Permitting authorities.

Already, however, I know that the project has changed a lot to accommodate specific environmental and sportsmen’s’ concerns. The path of the line has been changed for instance to minimize environmental impact. The line will now run under the scenic Kennebec Gorge instead of over it. And there are proposals to preserve deer wintering areas, revegetate cut-over areas and retain the canopy of tall trees wherever it can.

To put things in context, though, 411,000 acres of trees are cut in Maine every year- 411,000 acres. The number of acres that would be felled as a result of this project would equal two tenths of a percent of what we already cut. And while we also want to encourage solar and other renewables, to create a comparable amount of electricity with solar — even if we could make that into a consistent and reliable source — we would have to clear about 34,000 areas of land, or fifty-five square miles of land

Well as your Governor, it is my responsibility to study this hard and to weigh the broad ramifications of proposals like this and judge whether it moves us forward. It’s so important to look at all sides of the matter.

The transmission line project, substantially enhanced by this Stipulation, now is poised to benefit Maine people, to inject millions into our economy, to create jobs, to fund electric vehicles, to reduce electricity costs, to expand broadband, and substantially reduce our carbon footprint. Now then, I believe that this is a project, on balance, that is worth pursuing

I am Governor Janet Mills and I thank you for listening.

Audio here:

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/radio_address/governor-mi...

Views: 381

Comment

You need to be a member of Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine to add comments!

Join Citizens' Task Force on Wind Power - Maine

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on March 2, 2019 at 7:04pm

Heat pumps in this climate are a fallacy, During the coldest part of the winter they are useless and the farther north the less useful they are! Here in mid-coast Maine most of December January and February this year they would have been of little to no use. Much like the windmills that produce little and what is produced is 10X what conventional generation costs! And that's not including the destruction of mountain tops, gouging access roads up the mountain and clear cutting transmission line paths for each windmill! Mainers are and have been sold a dump truck of BS on most of this supposed 'green' energy! Maine produces 1/100,000,000,000th of the carbon of China, and 1/10,000,000,000th of what India produces. Now what do these ridiculous measures do other than enslave and make poorer the citizens of Maine? Really??

Comment by Willem Post on March 2, 2019 at 5:11pm

Eric,

MWh = 1200 MW x 8766 h/yx 0.7, capacity factor

Comment by Dan McKay on March 2, 2019 at 11:05am

    Wouldn't you think the Governor would put two and two together and realize Massachusetts is on course to remake everything in her energy image.

   Maine need not enact any more energy laws, could repeal all existing money sucking energy laws, and sit still while Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island sashay their way to greener pastures by spending billions of dollars that will eventually lead to lower priced electric cars, make electric heat pumps technologically competitive to oil-fired furnaces and let Maine be Maine.

    The big three of New England are willing to do all the heavy work, the NECEC, which is being paid entirely by utility ratepayers in Mass., Conn., and R.I. is just one example.

   Of course, there will still be some Mainers who want to go proactive and that isn't a problem as long as they use their own resources. The state should yield to the towns and cities of Maine to their desires on carbon reductions.       
    Cities, like South Portland and Belfast are already setting a greener course and should have that option, as long as it doesn't cause harm to the people of other jurisdictions in Maine. 
Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on March 2, 2019 at 10:55am

https://www.tdworld.com/generation-and-renewables/hydro-qu-bec-offe...

NECEC offers 1,200 Mwh of power, while this article states the proposal for NY is 5,800,000 Mwh. to 8,300,000 Mwh. So, why are we in Maine Dicking around with a paltry 1200 Mwh?

Comment by Whetstone_Willy on March 2, 2019 at 10:41am

"The path of the line has been changed for instance to minimize environmental impact. The line will now run under the scenic Kennebec Gorge instead of over it. And there are proposals to preserve deer wintering areas, revegetate cut-over areas and retain the canopy of tall trees wherever it can.

To put things in context, though, 411,000 acres of trees are cut in Maine every year- 411,000 acres. The number of acres that would be felled as a result of this project would equal two tenths of a percent of what we already cut. And while we also want to encourage solar and other renewables, to create a comparable amount of electricity with solar — even if we could make that into a consistent and reliable source — we would have to clear about 34,000 areas of land, or fifty-five square miles of land."

Despite the incessant desperate propganda and lobbying from the grid scale wind and solar industries about grid scale battery storage - you CANNOT make wind and solar into consistent and reliable sources. 

Comment by Willem Post on March 2, 2019 at 10:07am

US Climate Alliance is overwhelmingly a DEMOCRAT alliance with a few Republican governors, such as Scott from Vermont.

It aims to implement a Democrat set of measures to "prevent" global warming. 

It would give DEMOCRATS more and more GOVERNMENT control over our everyday lives.

The GREEN NEW DEAL, a 20 to 50 TRILLION DOLLAR "aspiration" plan is just another Democrat manifesto that has no chance of passing in the US House and US Senate.

Governor Baker of MA and Cuomo of NY have been obstructing new gas pipelines from Pennsylvania.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/partial-capital-cost-of...

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a4cfbfe18b27d4da21c9361/t/5...

Comment by Willem Post on March 2, 2019 at 7:06am

Massachusetts HAS to foot the bill, because the H-Q electricity HAS to go to Massachusetts to balance the VARIABLE OUTPUTS of the 1600 MW of EXPENSIVE, FOREIGN offshore wind turbines Massachusetts is foolish enough to install.

Governor Mills likely is colluding with Governor Baker of Massachusetts, doing his RE dirty work, hiding behind a Climate Alliance, supported by the usual cast of RE entities, at the expense of hard working, already suffering Maine households.

CARBON TAXES

There is near ZERO support for REGRESSIVE, UNILATERAL carbon taxes in Maine.

That measure was DEFEATED in Washington State,

That measure has not been brought to the vote in the Vermont legislature, because of a lack of votes,

That measure should be soundly defeated in Maine as well.

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/ne-wind-and-solar-elect...

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/iso-ne-study-of-1600-mw...

Those offshore wind turbines will produce electricity at 40 to 50 percent higher prices than DOMESTIC natural gas.

FLOATING offshore wind turbine electricity prices would be even higher

Governor Mills should be agitating for additional gas line capacity to Maine and for more propane capacity.

That gas would be low-cost, and have much less CO2 emissions than fuel oil, and have much less toxic other emissions than fuel oil.

HEAT PUMPS

Burlington Electric Department of Vermont Severely Curtailed Its Heat Pump Program

 

According to BED press release, Efficiency Vermont's estimated savings were grossly exaggerated. "BED is scaling back its 2018 – 2020 projections of HPs installed in the City of Burlington, VT, due to the results of a 2017 VT DPS evaluation report”. See URL.

https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/Energy_Efficiency/Reports/Evaluation%20of%20Cold%20Climate%20Heat%20Pumps%20in%20Vermont.pdf

 

The VT-DPS evaluation report indicates:

 

- The owners of the surveyed HPs had average savings of about $200/heat pump per year

- The owners displaced, on average, only about 34% of their annual fuel oil, i.e., the other 66% of fuel oil was supplied by the traditional heating system.

 

The VT-DPS report did not mention other HP financial impacts on owners, such as:

 

- Annual loan payments to utilities, such as GMP. See table 1 and Appendix for details.

- Annual maintenance contract fees, at about $150 per year, no parts

- Cost for unscheduled outages, at about $150 per call, no parts

- Amortizing the $5000 heat pump at 5% for 15 years requiring annual payments of $474 per year

- Amortizing the $10000 traditional back-up system a 5% for 20 years requiring annual payments of  $792 per year

 

Instead of installing hundreds of HPs during the 2019, 2020, 2021 period, BED is now anticipating, i.e., making money available in its budget, to provide incentives for no more than 15 HPs during that period.

 

Those few HPs likely would be in pre-selected, highly insulated/highly sealed houses to ensure 85 to 100 percent of displacement of fuel oil. Google Burlington Electric 2018 Tier 3 Plan, which BED is required to submit the VT-Public Utilities Commission every three years. The Plan describes the BED HP intentions for that period.

NOTE: The BED intentions barely were mentioned by the VT mass media, because it does not bode well for the VT Comprehensive Energy Plan goal of 35000 HPs by 2025. That goal was based not on any analysis, but likely on a number picked out of a hat by bureaucrats. See Appendix.

Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

Not yet a member?

Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

"It's not whether you get knocked down: it's whether you get up."
Vince Lombardi 

Task Force membership is free. Please sign up today!

© 2019   Created by Webmaster.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service