LePage opposes renewable energy mandate in Maine

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Gov. Paul LePage is urging residents not to sign a referendum petition aimed at requiring at least 20 percent of Maine's electricity come from new renewable energy sources by 2020.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, LePage says the Maine Citizens for Clean Energy Coalition is collecting signatures for a November ballot initiative that would increase energy costs while "padding the pockets" of special interests.

The question ask voters if they want to require that at least 20 percent of Maine's electricity come from new renewable energy sources by 2020. LePage says Mainers should have choices but shouldn't be forced to buy certain types of alternative energy, especially if it's more expensive.

LePage says Mainers currently pay 42 percent above the national average for electricity.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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Comments

 's picture

Steve Dosh is right on

Steve Dosh is right on geothermal but wrong on wind. T. Boone Pickens may be back on the wind bandwagon but he was cancelling his turbine orders a year ago. The NY Times article quotes production figures from the AWEA which are erroneous to say the least. Denmark also had to build 2 new nat.gas plants to balance the wind blasts and often send their erratic wind power to Sweden or Norway ,who in turn , replace hydro with wind for ZERO co2 reduction. Let's reduce consumption before we reduce our outdoors to an industrial wasteland. It may sound mean , but I don't care what they do in Texas,that is Enron country and hopelessly corrupt. Any time the AWEA data is used the readers must check the background as it is always a PR propaganda piece and not reliable, kind of like wind power. I agree with Steve that there is global warming caused or worsened by man. Wind power will only increase the problem because of intense c02 from origin to constuction. New nuke technology is worth looking at, and I do not mean the designs from a half century ago. Save our State from windsprawl.

Steve  Dosh's picture

LePage opposes renewable energy mandate in Maine

Sunday evening About 7 pm hst •
Why would he oppose it ? Oh , we all forgot * snap * Hydropower and wind really aren't free , huh ? We would bet they are cheaper and more environmentally friendly that what your executive branch might think of proposing after they've left
After all , NASA"s scientists are all washed up and wrong and C02 and green house gasses are not choking out the planet's breathing air , Acid rain really isn't killing all the trees on the west slopes of your mountains , making your ponds sterile in the process and causing the sea levels to rise through global warming . NO this isn;t really happening right , Honorable Governor ? The glaciers really are not melting in Greenland like PBS shows us on TV nightly ? Let's deny science and all factual data to the contrary once again and stick our heads in the sand like emus http://climate.nasa.gov/ Republicans
Thank goodness we sentient humans stopped using chlorofluorocarbons ( CFCs - spray cans ) when we did and the ozone hole over the south pole is getting smaller ( it finally is :) . Unfortunately the Australians still have the highest skin cancer rates in the known universe . h t h ? Dr. Dosh

 's picture

windsprawl

Mr. McQueeney states the new technology will become more affordable as time goes by. That does not seem to be true in Europe as they have been playing with wind power for 15 or 20 years and economy of scale has not kicked in yet. The idea that trans. lines would become cheaper also does not happen. They become more expensive each year to build and maintain, and now there are computer controls to complicate matters and further drive up costs. It does not bode well for the ratepayers. Getting off the grid will be the only way to avoid the coming price hikes, and weatherizing and cutting back on waste should save us some money. The Maine Citizens for Clean Energy Coalition is a group of pro wind pro development groups who conveniently refuse to look at the TOTAL C02 costs of their pet renewable, wind power. The turbines come from an environmentally disasterous place in China, Baiyun Obo, and spew C02 from the smelters all across the Pacific in huge cargo ships. The chanting pseudo-greenies only want to count carbon after the turbines are spinning on the rare day that they turn enough to produce anything. Gov LePage is correct to discourage anyone from signing on to the pooly thought out referendum

Steve  Dosh's picture

12.01.08 7 pm hst •  . .You

12.01.08 7 pm hst • 
. .You are wrong . It has kicked in . The future is already here dude . Tell us you have never heard of T Boone Pickens . .. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/23/business/23wind.html?pagewanted=all US$Billions for wind power ? Ring a bell ?
We have a geothermal power plant quite literally in our backyard funded by none other than the guy who owns 1/2 of the State of Montana : Ted Turner ( CNN - HNN )
/s, Steve Dosh Pahoa HI 96778 usa
btw - post a picture , Mike . It's fairly simple to do and ƒree . This is a great newspaper

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .Geothermal rules --->

Frank Heller's picture

Level the playing field Now

Restoring a true marketplace with minimal government subsidization would correct the grievous error that is placing large expensive, problem-some and unreliable wind farms in near wilderness areas where their 'footprint'--4 acres per turbine + access roads + transmission tower r.o.w., is significantly reducing the amount of forest used to convert carbon dioxide(CO2) into oxygen and sequestered(stored) carbon---up to 100 years.

I can't believe environmental groups which over a decade a go championed Maine's designation of 'FOREVER WILD' would suddenly create this monster which increasing global warming so dramatically, and at our expense.

So we pay three times; once for subsidies, second for higher electric bills, and lastly for more global warming from the deforested clear cuts.

While the Governor is smartly keeping focused on getting Maine the greenest and lowest cost power; the rest of us should urge REFORESTATION to replace the lost bio-mass and to prevent the devastating flooding from the clear cut runoff.

I am also puzzled by the continuing plea to stop importing foreign oil, when most of it is coming from Canada, while many of the wind turbine companies are foriegn owned.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Frank , 7 pm hst • Sunday (

Frank , 7 pm hst • Sunday ( my ƒunday :)
GE ® ( Generous Electric ) is foreign owned ? i didn't know that ?
i do know that ARCO ( Atlantic Richfield Corporation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARCO ) , the largest producer of solar photovoltaic cells in the know universe , is American . Oil are coal are non-renewable and kill . Trees and humans are renewable resources and a good thing
i don't claim to know anything about Maine but we get our oil from Alaska here in Hawai'i ( not Canada ) , the 50th State and our propane from Lake Charles LA USA
Keep up the good works ?  Fight acid rain coming from the midwest coal fired power plants . ...
h t h /s Steve

Frank Heller's picture

ARCO was merged into BRITISH PETROLEUM's AMERICAN SUBSIDIARY

ARCO was bought by B.P. America in 2000. There is no geo-thermal in Maine, but there is a market for the marijuana Hawaii produces.

Frank Heller's picture

foreign ownership

GE is the only US company listed in the top ten:

Vestas 14.8%
Sinovel 11.1%
GE Wind Energy 9.6%
Goldwind 9.5%
Enercon 7.2%
Suzlon Group 6.9% (inc Suzlon Energy (India) and RePower (Germany))
Dongfang Electric 6.7%
Gamesa 6.6%
Siemens Wind Power 5.9%
United Power (????) 4.2%

And fading fast as Chinese companies ramp up. Wind industry is in a funk.

Frank Heller's picture

Hawaii.....sort of like that here.

Did plume analysis re. Muskie clean air legislation and learned the 'dirty' secret that nearly all coal plant pollution falls out by 100 miles downwind of the stack. There are plume studies that confirm this. Acid rain is no longer a problem in Maine and the acidity of lakes is dropping or due to other causes.

I guess what I'm saying is our air is cleaner than ever before; and CO2 monitoring is nicely obscured by air pollution monitoring stations; leaving us only sat. readings.

Saw the George Clooney film and was ready to book a flight to the big island!

Gary Steinberg's picture

Renewables Cannot Power Modernity, EVER!

Defying the laws of thermodynamics is the theme of renewables, along with the religious fervor of the climate computerized theories that defy reality.

Dense energy sources are needed to power modernity.

How does wind power meet the criteria every electrical generating source must meet?

 Any electric utility must meet the following, well known in the industry to survive.

1.The source must provide large amounts of electrons (it must be dense)
2.The power must be reliable and predictable.
3.The electrons must be dispatchable (high or low amount must be generated on demand)
4.It must serve one or more grid demand elements(base load, load following and peak load).
5.The utilization of environment must be minimal and compactness is a must, or it is non-green and damaging the environment.
6.It must be economical

Please renewable non-scientific zealots, address the above, as applied to wind, or even solar for that matter.

No sir, pipe dreams and religious fervor and snake oil salesmen as they realte to non-dense sources  cannot do any of it.

Dense sources of electron production support modernity: the others will DRIVE US BANKRUPT!
 
Sorry, the consumer can't and won't buy  the bull presented by religous global warming brain dead non-scientific zealots.

Perhaps a 50 cent/kwh charge is needed in Maine to wake up the populace and some brain dead politicians.

By then however, all business will have vacated the state, and for good reason.

The Governor may perhaps understand that.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. . †rue Gary ? 19:15 hst

. . †rue Gary ? 19:15 hst • 
We like to see coal and oil used in transporation ( stanley steamers , cars , trains , boats , ships and the like ) and not power plants  . As for brain dead politicians ? You can handle that one for us :)
Beuna suerte /s, Steve
POLITICS " The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet." - Mark Twain in Eruption a.k.a. Samuel Clements . He was a writer , Republicans . He wrote about France and came to Hawai'i once , in fact . . ...Aloha from Pahoa u s a

 's picture

extra rate costs

The government has been subsidizing renewable energy development at the cost of Maine ratepayers. As a result, energy prices have skyrocketed over the past decade and we can no longer expect Maine people to foot the rising bill.

1. Reliability Maine; 8% of $30 billion for Maine would be $2.4 billion in expense for Maine ratepayers. = rate hike = 2.400,000,000 / 560,000 = $4,2857 per household.
2. Efficiency Maine , a program that places a surtax on everyone's electric bill. That's an increase = rate hike.
3.Add a cent of stranded cost(biomass 1980's) to your per kilowatt hour charges—‘cha-ching’.
4. Shutting Maine Yankee before its expected lifetime added one cent to two cents to your bill--"cha-cjing'
5. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) pushed by the NRCM——add another cent.--‘cha-ching’
6. Capacity payments, the payments made to standby-on-demand industrial and commercial electricity producers, yep, pushed by these environmentalists. One cent more—‘cha-ching’.
7. Long-term contracts to the wind industry and conservation charges lobbied for by NRCM employees—another cent, ‘cha-ching’.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Alice , 19:19 hst Correct

Alice , 19:19 hst
Correct us if we are wrong , yet , the first time we saw US$4.00 gasoline prices was under Bush , that dumb Gov. from Houston TX , home of Enron ® 
If you are complaining about the excise tax on your ME gasoline , we suggest e-mailing your Honorable Governor . He can regulate that or even propose getting rid of it . btw - it helps pays for roads and road construsction
Always keep in mind , it's not your fault , it's not my fault , it's asphalt
h t h /s, Steve , Hawai'i

 's picture

conservation scares me

Open Space would make the parcel eligible for a 20% reduction in the assessment. If the owner wishes to allow public access to the property then he would be eligible for an additional 25% reduction making it a 45% reduction in total. There are further levels of Open Space that may allow up to a 95% reduction
Unfortunately, tax losses from the Farmland and Open Space Programs are not reimbursed to the Town.

 's picture

what are the renewable energy

what are the renewable energy options? wind power? every time that option is looked at, people scream and do everything in their power to prevent it. hydroelectricity? same story, from the epa who are worried about fish. solar? property owners who complain that the panels are ugly and devalue their adjacent properties. nuclear? tried that, people are worried about another chanoble, or what happened in japan. if there's one that i missed, i'm sure it will be pointed out. people want renewable energy choices, just not in their back yard.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Renewable energy

I am a huge proponent of renewable energy. Many of these are relatively new technologies, and show great promise. But like many new technologies, they are expensive.

Compare this to the cost of flat screen televisions. When they first came out, they were expensive. The same capability TV I bought 4 years ago can be bought for a third of the price today. But the price does not drop as quickly in the industrial forum.

It would be great to have 20% of our energy from renewable resources by 2020, just 8 year from now. No question about it. The question, however, is can this be done and done affordably?

First, look at how long it takes from the initial idea to to construct a renewable energy production platform, until it actually produces it's first kilowatt. The location has to be located. Windfarms, for example, can not just be located any where. Studies that can take a year need to be performed, particularly, if you need good wind patterns. If there is not enough sustainable wind, this part of the process starts all over again, somewhere else.

Then there is the NIMBY factor that the developers will spend years appeasing and working around. Once that obstacle is cleared, then the real design work can take place, fitting the production platform to the property. Then send out bids and choose a contractor. Construction takes a year or so.

What does one do if the wind proves not to be as advertised? Suppose the studies indicate winds of certain characteristics, but when these hundreds of foot tall towers are actually in place, it's not quite....

Recently, in Portland Maine, wind tower projects have been abandoned. There is one on top of Dimillo's restaurant. Yes, it produces, but not enough. Hydroelectric dams are not popular, and they take years to build. Solar panels to produce in those quantities can be prohibitively costly, and their performance degrades over time.

To demand that we become 20% renewable energy users in just 8 short years may well be very short sighted, and quite possibly, not well thought out.

For example, has the Maine Citizens for Clean Energy Coalition developed and shown a viable plan, with real construction costs and power estimates? I would like to see what their plan is. I would like to think that a forward thinking group is not just demanding that everybody "do as we suggest", but rather that they are leading the way and presenting a realistic, affordable plan of action to get us to the good position they are championing.

Steve  Dosh's picture

. .†hanks Robert 19:30

. .†hanks Robert 19:30 Sunday
Well thought out ?
Few people in Maine ( except possibly you :) realize that your largest , biggest , and greatest savings are quite simply found in conservation . Weatherstrip , turn off the cars and trucks and do not idle gasoline or diesel motors > 5 mins , replace light bulbs , water heaters and TVs with the newer , more energy efficiant types , insulate pipes and homes better ; actions ( ACTIONS ) of that nature
Thanks for you opinion . We appreciate it .
Sucessful wind power has been in operation in Maine since last century
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wind_power_in_Maine
/s, a reader in Hawai'i next to the geothermal power plant that supplies 20% of Hawai'i's electical needs . It's in our back yard :)

 's picture

turn off

turn off that idling gas plant as it waits for fickle dickle WIND to do it's job. NOT

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