LePage under fire for citing energy study

Paul LePage
Robert Bukaty

Maine Gov. Paul LePage attends a football game at the University of Maine, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012, in Orono, Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

PORTLAND (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage is under fire for citing a study that said Maine's renewable-energy mandate would cost electricity ratepayers $145 million and nearly 1,000 jobs by 2017 because the study was funded in part by the fossil fuel industry.

The study was published by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston, which has received significant funding from fossil fuel interests.

Jeremy Payne of the Maine Renewable Energy Association says the study was flawed, perhaps purposely, because it based its calculations on assumptions that renewable energy prices projected by the U.S. Energy Information Administration were too low and states wouldn't enforce built-in cost containment measures.

A spokeswoman for LePage told The Portland Press Herald that the administration was unaware of the Beacon Hill Institute's backing from fossil-fuel interests.

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Lepage under fire

Tall the critics of wind power, I refer them to another article today which sites the hughe amount of hydro carbons that will not be release into the atmosphere because of wind power; also ask the Roxbury residents who receive free power because of the site in their town!

 's picture

The report is a farce, Bob

First, this report is a farce, cherry-picking certain data to try to justify a pre-conceived notion. USEIA will have a data set for most every point one wishes to make. One can, in theory, make a case for carbon reductions from wind power production, by itself, without bringing in the mitigating factors. The wind industry has successfully peddled this misrepresentation for years. Mitigating factors? You can start with the inefficiencies of having all sorts of natural gass fired plants being built so that MW for MW, there is back up for wind power and any plant that is not operating at it's greatest design efficiency is wasting fuel and causing greater output of carbon and other pollutants.

Second, I ask you to call up ISO-New England next time we have a steady wind of 12 mph or better and ask them how much wind energy has enetered the grid that they are forced to use. It will be there, for sure, but not in the qualtity one might expect. Then ask what source of power they have asked to reduce production and be prepared to be shocked by their response. Hydro. Yes, no emmissions, clean, renewable hydro. Why? Because it is far easier to close the gates stopping the flow of water to a hydro turbine and then several hours later open the gate to turn the turbine again. Far simpler, cost-effective, and efficient than going to a combined cycle natural gas producer and turning down the boiler to shut off the steam and then getting it back making steam after being off line for several hours.

Don't you find it ironic that we replace renewable electricity that is a dependable base load source when the wind blows and not those nasty polluting fossil fuel sources folks like you just love to demonize?

Lepage under fire

Typical ignorant comments by the governor1

 's picture


I feel sorry for people who cannot contribute intelligent discourse to a conversation but simply post invectives against the Governor.

 's picture


Thought for the day.
WIND sells to mandated renewable buyers in another area, miles away..
10 cents per kilowatt hour. WIND signs an agreement stating to produce/sell an "X" amount of energy. If WINDs turbines cannot produce (and they work at about 15% efficiency in Western Maine), they make up the difference by purchasing strips from ISO-NE at around 4.5 cents per KwH.

That's where the true scam comes in. Reselling non-green energy under the guise of wind produced.


Amedeo Lauria's picture

A couple of points....

Yes, you can get an energy loan to cover the cost of our heating season...stop by your credit union and ask the person behind the counter.

Talk about denial...the one size fits all mentality of the left continues to amaze me and cost me in my energy wallet.

Some folks need to clean out their ears and take off their blinders, never said I was against green energy, just want to wait until John Q. Public can afford the technology at a competitive rate instead of paying for it both monthly, on my oil bill, and annually, on my taxes that go towards subsidies, for those who play political ball. Also, the ad hominem attacks here NEVER cease to amaze me as they are the last refuge of the weak minded.

We chase the latest flavor of the week in energy just as we chased the latest cause of the week in the social arena over the past decades. I've lived a long time and have gone from one far left produced "crisis" to the next; most have resulted in our tax dollars being flushed down a drain with zero accountability. Wish we didn't have to pay the price for junk science; but alas there is a LOT of money available to support one cause after the next as was so clearly pointed out below.

Yes, San Diego, that is where solar energy really works without subsidies. Always 72 degrees and partly cloudy!


In this politicized country

In this politicized country we are at a point where no matter what an elected official says someone will call him or her a liar and all kinds of names. This is unfortunate and should stop. Governor Lepage is doing what he feels is best for the State of Maine and I applaud him for standing his ground. Let's be honest here and recognize that Mainers pay a very high cost for electricity. This cost could be lowered instantly by letting Canadian power into the State. Unfortunately those in power refuse to do this and this has been going on for much longer than Governor Lepage has been in power. Wind power is very expensive especially when you include the costs of tax subsidies and other bennies to this industry that the taxpayers of Maine have to pay for through taxes. After Hawaii, Maine is the most expensive State in the Union to live in. Many people do not like the oil industry and this is understandable considering the cost of oil products, but we must also realize that we are discovering oil in this Country and that we will soon be a country with more oil than Saudi Arabia. This new found oil and natural gas may soon render this type of energy cheaper to use than any other thus we should look at wind power and question whether the high price we are paying through tax subsidies and the visual impact of these structures is worth it. Let's stop the personal attacks and open our eyes and minds.

 's picture

We have a government

We have a government providing lavish subsidies in the form of tax relief to spur the growth of the wind industry. We have a government making it mandatory that utilities allow wind generated electricity to enter the grid before all other generation. This is fuel for the rich to expand and manipulate an industry , bring in more profits, eliminate competition, and influence the makeup of the electrical sector. As wind continues to make extraordinary advances into the electrical market, by number of kilowatts produced and schemes that threaten conventional plants , we will enter a new look electrical grid : one that produces more and more brownouts and blackouts due to the unpredictable nature of wind. And, an added consequence, there will be higher and higher electric prices for all.
The rich get richer and offer their gratitude to the government full of subsidies and regulations.
For all you Greenies, be careful what you wish for. The rich get their " nice, fuzzy " feeling by getting richer.

Steve  Dosh's picture

LePage under fire for citing energy study

all, 12.11.27 22:30 hst •
Who is fooling whom ? " The administration was unaware of the Beacon Hill Institute's backing from fossil-fuel interests. " Feigning cluelessness ? legitimacy
Unfortunately , Hon Gov. , you and your ME Republican party has been marginalized by the Sierra Club ® and The Nature Conservancy ® organizations already , coast - to - coast . They do not and will not support your wack-o ideas although you may still try to claim their allegiance , money , and support . Your ideas and notions are not eco or people friendly nor carbon neutral . It's all smoke , hot air and mirrors to you . Take note http://climate.nasa.gov , /s Steve and the rest of the scientific environmentalist community worldwide fighting for our grand children's futures

 's picture

bought out

Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Audobon, All paid for by WIND these days. Do not support them.

 's picture

This is a condensed version of the Portland Press Herald article

I posted this comment on the Portland Press Heral this morning in response to the full story:

I have seen a lot of one-sided reporting lately from the Maine Today Media regarding renewable energy, specifically wind power. This is just the latest. Rather than actually reporting on whether or not wind power is effective and worth the public subsidies and mandates, here the focus is on who funds what studies that are critical of wind power. Absolutely NO mention, of course, of the renewables/wind lobby and propaganda machine, funded by an industry that wouldn't exist without taxpayer subsidies, mandates, and such scams as the worst piece of legislation I have ever witnessed, PL 661, the "wind law".

Support for wind power is driven by ideology that is based neither on science or economics. We need reliable, energy-dense forms of generation, not intermittent, unpredictable, non-dispatchable, and grid skittering wind generated electricity from a source that year to date has a state-wide capacity factor (actual output vs design capacity) of less than 25%. This figure would drop to near 20% if the highest performing wind site at Mars Hill, which sells its output to New Brunswick Power, is not included. Wind power in Maine is a colossal failure and increasing it will only send electricity costs higher as we are forced by undemocratic and anti-free market mandates to use more of it.

The cost to our beautiful state and the jobs that depend on our vaunted "Quality of Place" will be horrendous if we continue the spread of this industrial blight throughout rural Maine. The cost of driving one high electricity user like Texas Instruments or Fairchild out of state due to ever-increasing energy costs as overhead will far outstrip the few jobs supported by the wind industry.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Brad ? 12.11.27 23:00 hst

Brad ? 12.11.27 23:00 hst •
You are obviously new to this discussion in the LSJ ® . Post a picture . It's E Z to do . Windpower is a forgone and successful conclusion in ME , 24 x 7 . Tidal power next ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Maine /s Steve :)

 's picture

A failure, not success

You call 23.69% verified capacity factor (FERC website from reports of the wind site owners) of Maine's wind site's Yead to Date a "success"? That is ridiculous. It is time to end this foolishness. Besides, Steve, as soon as you put a wikipedia citation up there, you lost credibility. Try citing real sources.

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Pinocchio Payne

This is laughable the Jeremy "Pinocchio" Payne, who makes his living shilling for the wind industry and spewing deceit and misinfomation every time he opens his mouth, should criticize the study as flawed. Yep, his nose just grew a bit longer!

Maine's media should stop two practices: writing completely biased and unbalanced stories and quit chopping larger pieces into smaller ones where contaxt is lost, as in the case here.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Brad ? 12.11.27 22:50 hst

Brad ? 12.11.27 22:50 hst ?
We'd all like to be fat , dumb, and happy like the person portrayed in the LSJ ®  photograph with health care provided by ME ttax payers but , unfortunately , we can't . Who is fooling whom ? http://climate.nasa.gov/ /s Dr. Dosh and ohana :D

Diana Currier's picture

he knew

he knew

Steve  Dosh's picture

Diane ? i don't give him

Diane ? i don't give him that much credit • /s, Santa Steve *< ;-Q~

Norman Mitchell's picture

backing from fossil-fuel interests.

so what the bias reports from the wind company's study's are not flawed ? common get real have you hear about the law suits at Kibby Mt and Hardscrabble Wind Farm in Herkimer County, NY, among others

 's picture

and others

And the lawsuits at Mars Hill and Lincoln Lakes! No, the pro-wind media in the state will never report on that, just as the landmark DEP decision on denying Quantum Energy's Passadumkeag Mt. project received 2 tiny paragraphs, but a wind industry-planted story about snowmobile trails connecting industrial wind sites got a big write up and a photo. Of course, the reporter didn't acknowledge that this is nothing but a PR ploy by the wind industry. Every place they have gone into, the first thing they do is donate $5,000 (likely from your tax subsidy $$$!) to the local snowmobile club. These people are so enthralled by having money to buy a new trail groomer or whatever, they are easily bought off. It is simply a bribe.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Brad ? 23:00 ? hst You do

Brad ? 23:00 ? hst
You do realize that your laughingstock of a Governor was endorsed and bankrolled by the Sierra Club last election , right ? Fact ?  We reiterate , " Who is fooling whom ? " Who is bribing whom ? Back up your allegations . Less heat , more light . You seem to offer no tangible solutions , just fantasy . folklore , fable , and fiction . Do not remain part of the problem . We include and do not exclude thoughtful individuals such as yourself in http://www.occupytogether.org/spreadtheword
Suggestion : take a look at your green , wild , beautiful and pond filled State through the lens of what is happening in Oregon and Washington States . /s Us , We are the 99%

 's picture

You've got it all wrong

First of all, calling Gov. LePage a laughingstock is disrespectful and he has braod support in rural Maine where industrial wind blight is ruining our beautiful countryside. Secondly, Sierra Club has lost all credibility with the people who understand the ravages of wind power and what a farce it is, with the organization continuing to push the wrong solution for their climate concerns. Furthermore, they never have, nor ever will, support Gov. LePage.

Finally, as a seventh generation Mainer whose roots in New England go all the way back to 1636, I don't need to look at my "green , wild , beautiful and pond filled State " through any lens but my own unabashed and unabiding love for and protection of the great state of Maine. Try growing up on a farm with a view of Mt. Katahdin, try living in all regions of Maine, try hiking every mile of the Appalachian Trail in Maine and perhaps you might understand my passion for opposing the industrialization and destruction of our mountains for a folly.

But even more importantly, I disdain bad public policy that mandates wind power through RPS and props up a losing industry with tax subsidies.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Hmmmm this reminds me of the alledged dummied up...

numbers by "scientists" studying "global warming" or is it "climate change" when the numbers didn't match their desired outcome.

That is why you always look for replication of scientific results, it's standard operating procedure to have several sources to rely upon.

We know we are getting keel hauled over energy prices; just look at your energy bills a direct result of the desire to kill the oil, coal and gas industry in favor of windmills and solar panels.

I'm not against so called "green" energy and would gladly embrace them if not for the games that are being played by the current administration to manipulate the cost of proven energy sources; with reckless disregard for those of us who have to fill our cars and heat our homes! I guess it is so they can look good by subsidizing the cost. It is a shame when I pass the credit union and they are offering "energy loans" to get Mainers through the heating season.

Wake up people!

Steve  Dosh's picture

Amedeo ? 12.11.27 23:00

Amedeo ? 12.11.27 23:00 hst
You cease to amaze us with your rabid denial of facts ( chuckles :) http://climate.nasa.gov/ 10,000 N A S A are wrong ? All this stuff going on right now at the UN is bunk ? The Kyoto Accords renewal ( which the US never signed anyway ) ? You ever watch the Weather Channel ® ? Where have you been hiding ? San Diego ?
Please do wake us and smell the pollution . . well no , you can't .
The pulp and paper mills have cleaned up their acts in Jay, ME and the Atlantic salmon are back in the Androscgoggin again , thank goodness for the EPA :) /s Dr. Dosh

Zack Lenhert's picture

"energy loans" are for new

"energy loans" are for new furnaces or insulating houses. Not for buying oil.

Just like a stock portfolio, we need to diversify our energy sources.

The long term cost of a finite resource can only go up. We use oil for thousands of products and fuels and we'll still need it in the future. It makes no sense to keep promoting its use for trivial things like trips to the mall in the family SUV.

 's picture

We aren't supposed to know.

These "disinformation" studies are intended to hid the agenda of their authors/supporters. That way they look like real, scientific, non-partisan information when in fact they are propaganda from a self-interested group.But the Heritage Policy Center would have known and therefore LePage must have known.


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