LEWISTON — Maine’s U.S. representatives voted in support of the massive energy overhaul bill passed by the House on Friday.
Democratic Reps. Mike Michaud, of the 2nd Congressional District, and Chellie Pingree, of the 1st, each highlighted the positive impact the legislation would have on Maine in statements following the vote.
“(This bill) brings other areas of the country to where Maine already is, while at the same time promoting the development of clean, renewable sources of energy in Maine and nationwide,” Michaud said. He said the national legislation was built upon the greenhouse gas policy known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative used by Maine and other states.
Pingree said the legislation would help Maine further develop clean energy industries, including wind, tidal and wood-based power.
“The best way to bring prosperity back to Maine is also the best way to end our dependence on foreign oil and protect the environment from global-warming pollution,” she said.
Michaud and Pingree’s offices reported receiving many, many phone calls leading up to the vote on Friday.
Michaud said he worked successfully to recognize pulp and paper plants as renewable energy producers in the bill, which could result in an expansion of such locally produced clean energy and create jobs.
His office also said his efforts would ensure that small forest landowners would be eligible for credits that could be sold to companies needing to offset their emissions.
Pingree, who wrote a letter to congressional leaders in favor of strengthening the bill, was praised by local and national environmental groups for her role.
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