Governor Mills Statement Regarding NECEC Stipulation Before the PUC

February 21, 2019

Portland, MAINE -- Governor Janet Mills released the following statement in response to the announcement of a signed Stipulation regarding the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) proposal:

“Last night thousands of Maine households turned up their thermostats to keep their families warm as the wind and snow came upon us around midnight. At $2.90 a gallon, most of those households spent precious dollars on heating oil.

“Maine is the most heating oil dependent state in the country, with nearly 70% of Maine homeowners relying on oil for their heating needs. We send five billion dollars out of state every year to pay for our use of nonrenewable fossil fuels. Our high costs of energy and electricity are a barrier to our health and a deterrent to our economy, while 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 our reliance on fossil fuels, to address our carbon footprint and to accept the challenge of preventing and mitigating climate change — a threat first identified more than eighty years ago by the British engineer G.S. Callender who issued a call to action that has been largely ignored by some in our country.

“We cannot afford to do nothing.

“That is why I authorized the Governor’s Office of Energy to sign onto a Stipulation that requests the Public Utilities Commission to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, which will allow the New England Clean Energy Connect project to undergo further review before other state and federal agencies.

“Importantly, the discussions in recent weeks have brought to the table the largest generator of renewable energy in North America — HydroQuebec. Partnering with this provincial company to our north, with its plentiful low carbon generation, along with local renewable generators, will not only bring down the price of power for consumers of all sizes but will also help us wean off of fossil fuels in a significant way.

“This project, if further permitted, will put our state and our region on the road to a zero carbon economy by 2050.

“Joined by several prominent environmental groups, western Maine organizations, and others, 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.

“By all objective analyses, it will suppress the price of electricity in Maine and in the region, saving Maine residents millions of dollars each year in electricity costs.

“With a substantial investment in broadband, education and other community benefits, it will boost, not diminish, the western Maine economy.

“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.

“And it will cost Maine ratepayers nothing. Massachusetts will foot the bill.

“I recognize the concerns of those who oppose this project. Their voices continue to be heard as this project undergoes significant review by multiple state and federal agencies, followed their established processes.

“But, all told, I believe that the Stipulation presented today to the Public Utilities Commission will require this project to bring substantial and concrete long-term benefits to the people of Maine.

“The agreement today is markedly different from where the discussion started. Over the past several weeks, leading conservation organizations like the Conservation Law Foundation and Acadia Center, the Industrial Energy Consumers Group, the Office of the Public Advocate, and the Governor’s Energy Office and others have brought HydroQuebec to the table and have pushed both HydroQuebec and Central Maine Power to an agreement that provides significant economic and environmental benefits for Maine people.

“And in recent weeks I have met with organizations both opposing and supporting the proposal. As the Chief Executive of the State, it is my responsibility to weigh the broad ramifications of proposals like this and judge whether it moves us forward.

“Now that the project, substantially enhanced by this Stipulation, targets benefits to Maine people, injects millions into our economy and is poised to create jobs, fund electric vehicles, reduce electricity costs, expand broadband access, and substantially reduce our carbon footprint, I believe this is a project that is, on balance, worth pursuing.”

https://www.maine.gov/governor/mills/news/governor-mills-statement-...

Also see the following which will be updated as warranted:

http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blogs/governor-mills-says-yes...


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Comment by Nancy Sosman on February 21, 2019 at 10:36pm
Comment by Willem Post on February 21, 2019 at 10:21pm

Governor Mills has been fed a load of nonsense regarding heat pumps.

Heat pumps in the average Maine house would displace only about 32 to 34 percent of fuel used for space heating, with the other 66% to 68% provide by the fuel oil furnace.

About 95% of all houses in Maine would need significant retrofitting to make them highly sealed and highly insulated.

That would mean a 2000 sq ft house would have a heating demand of about 17000 Btu/h, at outdoor of -20F and indoor of 65F, an 85F temperature difference, to have the heat pumps displace 100% of fuel oil for space heating.

That should be the Governor’s first priority; going all out for wind turbines is an absurd diversion and has NOTHING to do with that.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on February 21, 2019 at 5:03pm

I think Angela is looking down the road at the termination of warranties and major maintenance for wind turbines.....this will make generation less profitable and add their voice demands to raise rates.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on February 21, 2019 at 5:02pm

The final package is a lobbyist's wet dream......so much extraneous stuff tacked on.

Comment by Frank J. Heller, MPA on February 21, 2019 at 4:59pm

"with its plentiful low carbon generation, along with local renewable generators, will not only bring down the price of power for consumers of all sizes but will also help us wean off of fossil fuels in a significant way."

Sounds like childish gibberish, no?  'low carbon generation'....hydro doesn't emit CO2,,,,'bring down the price of power' forget to add  'in Boston......'wean us off of fossil fuels'  ....an electric car obsession? Drove down to Portland early morning, temps were 2 degrees. Got passed by a few Prius hybrids with their engines going on full blast to run the car.

Comment by Long Islander on February 21, 2019 at 2:29pm

With regard to the Blaine house, here's an oldie but a goodie:

"This wonderful old house, (the Blaine House), has learned well how to open wide the door of Maine hospitality and at the same time offer peace and quiet to its occupants." - Karen Baldacci

http://www.maine.gov/firstlady/blainehouse/index.html

Just like the peace and quiet of wind farm neighbors.

From: http://www.windtaskforce.org/profiles/blog/show?id=4401701%3ABlogPo...

Comment by Stephen Littlefield on February 21, 2019 at 1:08pm

So, with this statement, it would seem that these useless windmills aren't needed(actually never were) and the charade that windmills were the future can go away. And we can save our mountain tops and the tens of thousands of acres stripped for access roads and transmission lines for the exorbitant rate cost of windmill electricity!  The end product is a win for Maine, the transmission line throughway will as pipelines in Alaska they work for wildlife not against them. And unlike the windmills it's one lane not hundreds!

Comment by Dan McKay on February 21, 2019 at 12:35pm

When you listen to the Governor, take note of her word about carbon,

Her residence, the Blaine House cosumes 92,000 kwh of electricity per year. The mix of resources used for Maine electricity produces 929.64 lbs of CO2 per MWh

92MWH times 929.64 lbs/MWH = 85,526.88 lbs of CO2

Comment by Dan McKay on February 21, 2019 at 12:29pm
Comment by Nancy Sosman on February 21, 2019 at 12:11pm

Mills' director of the Governor's office of Energy, Angela Monroe, worked for le page for 2 years and prior to that 10 years at the MPUC.  The second in command, Lisa J Smith wrote a treatise, I can't access but it's described:

This article describes the Maine Energy Planning Roadmap, which is scheduled for release in January 2018. The Maine Governor’s Energy Office (GEO), with the guidance of a diverse and accomplished steering committee and funding provided by the US Department of Energy (DOE), is developing the Roadmap.

Apparently Mills' used the opposition to NECEC to solicit bribes and as leverage to get our votes by pretending to oppose it.  She is a truly repellant lawyer/politician.  She takes forked tongue to a new level.

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/

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