AUGUSTA, Maine — In a straight party-line vote, the Maine Senate on Thursday approved a bill that lifts the 100-megawatt cap for qualifying renewable power generation such as hydropower.
Supporters have said the bill would allow Maine to buy low-cost energy that meets the renewable energy standard, thereby reducing energy costs for businesses and homeowners.
LD 1863 was one of four energy-related bills submitted this session by Gov. Paul LePage and the one he wanted most.
Just last week, it appeared the bill would not have enough support in the Senate, but the governor’s office lobbied Republicans hard.
LePage called out some lawmakers for not supporting LD 1863 and criticized the lobbying influence of other energy providers during the process.
“I do not support Augusta being in the business of increasing costs on Maine ratepayers to pad the pockets of special-interest groups,” he said in a statement. “I believe it is morally and ethically wrong to take more money from those who can least afford it to line the pockets of those that are politically connected here in Augusta.”
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