Protect, support solar energy

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Thanks to Rep. Russell Black and Sen. Tom Saviello for working hard on and supporting good solar energy legislation last summer. In January, I hope they will continue their efforts to support solar energy for Mainers by supporting LD 1686.

The anti-consumer and anti-environment PUC solar energy “gross metering” rules are designed to financially punish solar users by allowing Central Maine Power to charge for solar electricity produced and used on site, power that never entered CMP’s wires. Would anyone pay the grocery store for a loaf of home-baked bread?

The implementation of those rules has been delayed from Jan. 1 to April 1 because the PUC realized just how unworkable they are. The legislature and voters have time to make their voices heard over the voices of CMP — a foreign-owned corporation that operates a protected monopoly with a 12 percent guaranteed rate of return.

Solar energy investments create Maine jobs and support Maine businesses. I applaud my legislators for protecting Mainers’ rights to produce their own clean energy and to do their part to protect the air and environment.

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Protecting the right to generate clean, renewable, affordable energy for homes and businesses is a critical way that Maine legislators can help reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and meet challenging and complicated energy problems with ingenuity. Effort, ingenuity, meeting challenges and rewarding innovation are long-held American values. Misguided politicians and corporations raising protective barriers around outdated and harmful energy policies need to hear people’s voices.

David Betts, Industry

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