Currently, more than half of Maine’s energy comes from oil, leaving us extremely vulnerable to volatile oil prices over which we have no control. The biggest uses are for transportation and home heating oil. Maine’s oil use is our biggest source of in-state air pollution, producing smog and soot. High levels of air pollution contribute to serious health problems andimpact tourist attractions.
There is great potential to generate clean, renewable energy right here in Maine. To that end, Maine's existing Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is working well for the state. With the goal of generating ten percent of Maine's electricity through renewable sources by 2017, has led to tremendous investment in Maine by renewable energy companies. We must safeguard and improve Maine's RPS to ensure that we move forward into a less fossil-fuel based economy.
According to a study by London Economics International, these investmentstotaled more than $2 billion in the last 10 years, and companies are paying more than $17 million annually in property taxes, and employing over 2,500 Maine citizens (http://www.maine.gov/tools/whatsnew/attach.php?id=349454&an=1).
In recent years, legislation has been introduced, in Maine and in states all around the country, to weaken RPS requirements. MCV is opposed to these efforts. In Maine, Governor LePage has a particular interest in removing the cap for the amount of large-scale hydropower that can be counted in the RPS. This is a bad idea because (1) Maine will not have access to the same cheap, subsidized rates that Canadians pay, and (2) there is so much hydropower electricity available from Quebec, that it would literally 'flood' the standards and would not leave room for Maine-developed renewable energy sources to be contribute.