Maine Governor: Socialists love to subsidize new wind and solar projects
High Electricity Prices are Costing Mainers Good Jobs
We?ve been saying it for ?ve years: Maine?s electricity prices are not competitive. My Administration
has made progress to lower heating costs with modern heating systems, and lower oil prices are
providing some relief. But the high cost of electricity in the manufacturing and industrial sectors
continues to kill good jobs for Mainers.
We have dozens of letters from well-respected Maine companies telling us that high energy costs make
it dif?cult?if not impossible?to do business here. Maine?s electric rates are 12th highest in the country,
and the Legislature is making it worse. Special interests are constantly lobbying for carve?outs and
above-market contracts to bene?t themselves. Incredibly, last year the Legislature thought it was a good
idea to sign more long-term contracts for above~market rates.
Current market rates are at 4 to 5 cents per kilowatt on average. But the Legislature forced the PUC to
sign long?term contracts for 20 years at prices ranging from 8.3 to 10 cents per kilowatt before
distribution and transmission. Now we know the exact price of their failure to protect Mainers: $38
million has been added to your costs for the above-market contracts.
Instead of arti?cially increasing electric bills, legislators should focus on lowering rates for the Maine
people. Lower electricity rates would help attract employers to our state and lower the cost of living and
working in our state. The Maine people deserve a break, not the wealthy Special interests in Augusta,
who pro?t off our hardworking middle class.
Socialists love to subsidize new wind and solar energy projects because they think it will save the earth,
but that kind of expensive and inef?cient energy bene?ts only a few wealthy investors, and our
electrical generation is already one of the cleanest in the country. Instead, let?s support the existing
Maine-based biomass infrastructure that is already in place to take advantage of our plentiful natural
The biomass industry creates good jobs for Mainers, ranging from loggers and truckers to mill workers
and lumber yard crews. Biomass facilities are often the largest taxpayers in small towns, and biomass
reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. Let?s help our economy and all Mainers, rather than arti?cially
limiting sources of inexpensive energy.
Meanwhile, my Administration continues to make progress working with other New England states to
expand hydropower and natural gas into our region. Right now there is construction underway to expand
our pipelines into New England, and clean and affordable hydropower is right next door in Quebec.
It?s time to switch off expensive energy. We must plug into the affordable reserves of nearby natural gas
and hydropower. We must be willing to transmit hydropower to the states south of us.
How many more Mainers must lose their jobs before the Legislature wakes up and takes action?
-- Governor Paul LePage