Our View: LePage rightly opposes biomass subsidy bond

Our View:

LePage rightly opposes biomass subsidy bond

Maine lawmakers faced a crisis in 2016: Subsidize the biomass industry or see hundreds of jobs vanish.

It wasn’t much of a choice, following the shutdown of paper mills in Madison and Bucksport, which cratered demand for pulpwood. Gov. LePage reluctantly signed the $13.4 million bill, but last February he made clear that he wasn’t happy about it.

“They’re not putting any money into the plants,” LePage said of the biomass generators that benefited from the bailout. “They’re taking the subsidy and they’re going to sit on it for two years. And in two years they’re gonna come back and say, ‘Anymore subsidy, guys? If you don’t give us more subsidy we’re going to close.’ ”

Here in 2018, we see that the governor was right on the mark. Maine taxpayers are helping out-of-state companies buy wood chips that are burned to make electricity, which is then sold back to Maine people at higher-than-market rates. And now there is a bill before the Legislature requesting a $25 million bond to subsidize biomass infrastructure so this cycle can continue.

LePage is against it, and so are we. What was a crisis two years ago is now just the way things are. It’s time that Maine look to the future of how it will manage its forest, instead of clinging desperately to what has already been proven not to work.

LI


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Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 16, 2018 at 7:41am

The update came through 16 hours ago. Attached to the orig dated Email of the 14th.

Once again, short notice, especially for those that started out early from the North or those that Stayed overnight with expectations of having a Hearing. Added Expenditures for Maine Citizens. An accumulative expenditure that sometimes becomes prohibitive for those that wish to participate in issues.

Comment by Eric A. Tuttle on January 16, 2018 at 7:29am

The request to postpone the public hearing  for LD 1745, An Act Regarding a Biomass-generated Energy Purchase and Sale Agreement and Payments to Contractors that was scheduled for January 16, 2018 at 2PM before the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology has been approved. The committee will not a hold a public hearing tomorrow on LD 1745. Once rescheduled, notice will be sent out with the new date for the public hearing.

From: Schneider, Deirdre 
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:08 PM
To: 'eut-ip@lists.legislature.maine.gov'
Subject: LD 1745

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/

 

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

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(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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