Governor LePage: Maine losing business opportunities because of high cost of wind power

Weekly Message


 Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.


This week heating oil increased by about 10 cents compared to this time last month. At nearly 3 dollars and seventy cents per gallon, many Mainers will experience another tough winter season trying to make ends meet.


As your Governor, I do not want to see anyone left out in the cold. The price of energy is on the rise and it is time elected officials be willing to address the issue both in Augusta and Washington, D.C. Politics should not play a role in heating your home, but it does.


Reducing Maine’s dependency on foreign oil is part of the solution. Every year we use 1.6 billion gallons of petroleum fuels which include oil, propane, diesel, gasoline and kerosene.


While energy efficiency is an important means of reducing energy costs, the greater utilization of more cost effective non-foreign oil sources will be essential to achieve our goal.


Through modest energy reforms, our Administration recognizes clean energy producers like biomass, thermal, and hydro as viable renewable sources. We can ensure all clean energy sources are treated fairly in the market so that costs go down, businesses can flourish, and Mainers have more money in their pockets.


The challenge is, however, that for years, the status quo has been that special interests here in Maine and Capitol Hill dictate which energy sources Mainers pay for and which ones are discriminated against – with no regard to the ratepayer.


Unfortunately, Maine’s renewable energy mandate will raise electricity prices by $145 million and cost Mainers nearly 1000 jobs. It is because Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, often referred to as RPS, requires that some of the state’s electricity be generated by expensive “renewable” sources, like wind power and solar. The problem I have with this methodology is other green energy sources like hydropower are left out of the mix. Hydropower is clean and readily available in Maine. More importantly, it is inexpensive and can save Mainers a lot of money. 


A recent report from the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Beacon Hill Institute affirms that Maine’s RPS will raise electricity prices by 8 percent in the next five years. This mandate is an economic barrier that we simply cannot afford; it is hurting Maine families and businesses.


Homeowners will pay $85 more per year on their electricity bill and business will pay more than $600 annually, according to the study. Industrial users will suffer the most taking on more than $14 thousand per year because of the mandate. We are losing business opportunities because of our high energy costs.


So how did this come to fruition? Maine’s first RPS law was established in 1999 under the King Administration. It’s unfortunate that some politicians after leaving office benefitted financially from those policies. Working the system to pad your pockets does not represent Maine values.


President Obama has supported this government welfare by spending $90 billion on programs and policies to green energy projects and failed companies.  As Governor Mitt Romney pointed out during this week’s debate, this is billions of dollars that the president should have spent on other reliable energy sources or to support our teachers.


At the height of the presidential election campaign and with critical congressional  and state legislative seats up for grab, Mainers must demand honesty and learn more about the people vying for votes.


The media is not looking out for your best interest, so it is up to each individual to do their homework on the issues.  Do not be afraid to ask candidate’s tough questions when they knock at your door. And when they assume office, we must hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.


Too many failed policies have affected where we are today, and we cannot afford to continue on this path with so much on the line.


Thank you.


Gov. Signature

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Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on October 7, 2012 at 12:33pm

did anyone see this about the whole scam of Obama and the EPA?

Comment by Michele Currivan on October 7, 2012 at 9:24am
Yes as I have labeled this political group of padding their pockets as. THE KGB OF WIND. KING, GARDINER AND BALDACCI.
Comment by Long Islander on October 6, 2012 at 8:21pm

The wind industry in Maine has had to back off some of the original major claims it made to justify its desecration of our beautiful state. A good example is their false claim that wind will get us off oil. Another is that wind will have an effect on CO2. You just don't hear these as often as you once did and part of the reason might be due to the fact that we showed them to be outright lies.

These days the wind industry is pandering and pushing itself as a provider of jobs. That somehow wind will help the economy.

The reality of wind power in Maine is it creates short term construction jobs as well as short term related jobs such as that of the Portland lawyer who is paid to say that fishermen on Maine's pristine lakes care not for the scenery, but only the fish. Or jobs for so called biologists who will make pronouncements at the Vinalhaven wind site that "there are no bats on Vinalhaven".


Sellout NRCM and other wind cheerleaders have stepped way out of their bailiwicks and weighed in on job creation. You'll hear them talk about the 300 Maine companies that have benefited from wind projects. What they don't tell you is some of those they've counted have done little more than sell a few boxes of nails. No matter how trivial, they count them. Another thing they will not tell you is that 300 companies, with all due respect, represent but a tiny fraction of Maine's 34,942 firms according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Moreover, there is no mention about the strain that wind power's inevitable higher electricity rates place on all 34,942 firms. Without question, our high electricity rates are a MAJOR obstacle to our existing businesses and attracting new businesses. So while some of the largest companies can afford to dispatch their workers complete with construction vests to hearings to testify for wind projects (and they exit in mass at 4PM), these are but a vocal minority. The vast majority of Maine businesses will be affected very adversely if we keep protecting these wind companies at the expense of lower priced electricity providers.


Also, tourism and "Quality of Place" will be hurt.

Maine needs jobs, not snowjobs.

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on October 6, 2012 at 11:57am

Gary is right on..and someone needs to repeal the Expedited Wind Law..what LePage says is good but we need more than words..we need to get rid of the KING mandate and not get King in again,

Comment by Gary Campbell on October 6, 2012 at 10:02am

Step One: replace Patricia Aho as DEP Commissioner

Step Two: replace David Littell as PUC Commissioner

They're both Diectors of RGGI

Comment by Jim Lutz on October 6, 2012 at 10:01am

Hallelujah!!!!!!  Finally some clear thinking in the Statehouse, not robot like environmental drivel as from the past administration.  I hope this kind of clear thinking will result in a stop to further expansion of Wind in Maine, and give us new power generation more in line with growing our manufacturing base and more jobs.  Wind is killing jobs, just like it does wherever it is brought on line.  When business moves out, jobs do too.  Thank you Gov. LePage!!!

Comment by Long Islander on October 6, 2012 at 9:07am

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."


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


(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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