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LePage legislation aimed at cheaper electricity on hold  

Credit:  By Tom Bell, MaineToday Media State House Writer, www.kjonline.com 21 May 2011 ~~

AUGUSTA – Legislation proposed by Gov. Paul LePage to limit state-mandated incentives for renewable energy production remained in committee on Friday.

The Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee debated L.D. 1570 and decided to take it up again on Tuesday.

The committee needs time to understand some complex issues, and it must give the Maine Public Utilities Commission time to complete an analysis of the bill, said Rep. Stacey Allen Fitts, R-Pittsfield, who co-chairs the committee.

“These are some complex issues, and the legislative process is a deliberate process, not a reactionary one,” Fitts said in an interview after Friday’s meeting.

The bill’s goal is to lower electricity rates, a pledge that LePage made during his campaign.

The bill would scale back a law requiring Maine electric utility companies, such as Central Maine Power Co., to get at least 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2017.

The bill would require that 4 percent of Maine’s electricity come from renewable energy sources. That’s the level that power companies must be at under current law.

The bill would save homeowners an average of 40 cents a month, according to calculations done by The Portland Press Herald and reviewed by the PUC.

The wind power industry estimates that the state’s current energy policy has attracted $1 billion in investment over the past four years and could bring an additional $16 billion in the next few years.

Source:  By Tom Bell, MaineToday Media State House Writer, www.kjonline.com 21 May 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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