If the Maine Legislature is really aiming to reach zero-carbon in electric generation, they may want to look at the upsurgence of production from in-state natural gas plants. Maine has 5 natural gas-fired plants and one oil-fired plant that must register with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and pay a fee based on carbon emissions. A fee that is passed onto ratepayers with the revenue going to Efficiency Maine.which begs the question; Must Mainers become more energy efficient so that natural gas-fired plants can increase their output of C02 ?  Are Mainers paying more so that C02 Emitters can increase their revenues?


   
     It is this simple:  Zero carbon emissions from natural gas plants in Maine means zero: 0 to RGGI, 0 to ratepayer bills, zero to Efficiency Maine.
   
      Maine natural gas-fired plant production was trending lower from 2002 to 2020 ( 13.5 billion Megawatt-Hours in 2002. 1.9 billion MW-Hr in 2020). EIA Data
   
     Since the energy crisis, natural gas-fired plants in Maine have bumped up production by 73%, meaning C02 emissions are up 73% (2021 production at 3.3 billion MW-HR) EIA Data 
     
     Since the energy crisis, Maine electric supply rates have increased by 173%,      YES 173%. The price of natural gas being the sole reason for the dramatic rise. Maine is attached to natural gas pricing because Maine is enrolled in ISO-NE. Maine pays for carbon emissions because Maine is enrolled in RGGI.
       
      Expecting this increased production to feed all of New England in proportions relating to each of the six state consumption rates, Maine would receive about 9% of this energy.
     
      Maine is in a Pinch. As Maine ramps up wind and solar, Canadian Imported Electricity and in-state natural gas-fired plants must ramp up to compensate for lag periods of production notable to wind and solar. Couple this with the retirement of coal, oil and nuclear plants within the ISO-NE network and a crisis appears and will grow without a significant course change in the way Maine gets its electricity.  BTW, most of the retiring plants are not in Maine, but most of the Canadian Imports shared to ISO-NE flows through Maine.i.e. (New Brunswick Interface)
     
     No wonder Mainers rejected NECEC, Mainers must be sick of sharing assets with all of ISO-NE and receiving unaffordable electricity in return.
   
     What steps taken by the Maine Legislature this session will determine Maine's future. They can't buy their way out of this one.

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

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(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 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From 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?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From 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.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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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."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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