LePage has tilted against windmills, literally, in opposing both wind and solar power as too expensive. He favors natural gas and hydro. The folks pursuing wind and solar (and other alternative energies) complicate matters by being in league, for the most part, with those who want to tear out all the hydro dams so ocean fish can swim to Rangeley and Millinocket. LePage backs hydro power and is angry every time another dam goes down.
Hydro power has everything going for it that should please environmentalists: lack of emissions, sustainability, avoidance of fossil fuels, low operating cost, etc. But fish can't climb the dams that humans built between 80 and 150 years ago.
Taking out the dams may sell a few more fishing licenses, but it also drives up the cost of electricity. And adds to the emissions from other sources of electricity.
Our neighbor Quebec is one of four Canadian provinces (along with British Columbia, Manitoba and Newfoundland) that generate more than 90 percent of their electricity by hydro. Quebec doesn't lack fishing opportunities, either.
We don't have Quebec's resources, but we could buy some of its hydro power and keep more of our own. Fifteen years ago, Maine produced about half of its electricity by hydro. Today, it's about 27 percent. It's the cleanest and most sustainable 27 percent.
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