"If we would like to see investments avoid Maine, moratoria and unfair and unreasonable treatment of the wind industry is the best way to do that," Payne said.
Maine had its own renewable energy targets in place in order to send positive market signals to investors, Payne said, but they are not enforceable.
Even a short moratorium could still have longer term impacts, "because it sends market signals" of unreliability and uncertainty, ACORE's Foley said.
LePage is not the only governor to enact a moratorium on renewables, Foley said, referencing Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich's 2014 two-year freeze of the state's renewable energy and efficiency standards. Kasich vetoed a bill that would have extended the freeze at the end of 2016. The two-year freeze was opposed by a handful of Ohio businesses in addition to clean energy advocate.
Foley said that renewable development has since picked up in Ohio, but not at the same rate that preceded the freeze. While hesitant to compare the two actions, Payne said the chilling effect offered a lesson into how investments would shift without a supportive policy landscape
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