The $100-Million Solar Scam and Maine Energy Committee Chair’s Shocking Power Trip

1/16/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

The Colosseum on the Kennebec is still buzzing following an Energy Committee hearing late last week.

The controversy surrounds, one piece of unconstitutional legislation, a committee chair on a power trip and a GOP Gubernatorial Candidate missing in action.

The bill in question is LD 1686, the $100-Million Solar Scam.

Republican Senator Tom Saviello (R-Wilton) is the sponsor of the bill again this session.

Last year the $100-Million Solar Scam passed through the legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, and his veto was sustained.

If passed this session, the bill would provide free services for solar users, by charging non-solar Mainers a higher energy rate. Estimates last year projected the proposal would increase energy bi....

And that’s what can get lost in the excitement of last Thursday’s controversial hearing. Maine First Media will get into what made the meeting so contentious. And we will cover why the bill is unconstitutional. However, it is important not to forget the simple fact; it’s a bad bill.

Legislators should be looking for ways to cut energy costs for Mainers. This bill raises energy costs for consumers, again, by about $100-Million!

As Republican Representative Beth O’Connor (R-Berwick) describes it, this bill is about cost shifting, forcing hardworking Mainers to pay for benefits only going to solar customers.

Special Policy Advisor on Energy for Gov. LePage, James LaBrecque, further explains the cost-shifting nature of the bill.

“The bill is designed to charge people who don’t have solar and give that money to people who do have solar,” LaBrecque said.  “It’s a metering method where people with solar collectors will get free use of the electrical transmission and distribution system.”

In other words, it’s a boondoggle for Maine’s green-crony corporatists, like Rep. Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham).

Rep. Berry is the chairman of Maine’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. And he was presiding over what should have been a routine public hearing Thursday.

However, as the George Hale and Ric Tyler Show on WVOM has chronicled, the meeting was anything by routine. In fact, Republican Representative Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) said she’s never seen a public hearing quite like this one.

The meeting started off unusually. Senate President Michael Thibodeau (R-Winterport) allowed the meeting to continue without any Senators present on the joint committee. The move by Sen. Thibodeau — who is one of the RINO members of GOP “leadership” running for Governor in 2018 — set the tone for the meeting and put Rep. Berry firmly in charge.

Sen. Thibodeau says not a single member of the Senate was able to attend the hearing and he only can delay a public hearing for thirty minutes.

Maine First Media finds it troubling not one Senator, elected by Mainers to work on behalf of the people of Maine, was able to attend a hearing about what Leftists claim is an “emergency” bill.

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

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