It’s hard to understand why Gov. Paul LePage’s is fighting against the solar energy bill, L.D. 1649. He says that high energy costs are killing Maine jobs, yet the public advocate, whose job is to protect Maine ratepayers, estimates that the bill would save utility customers a total of $55 million.

He says he wants to bring jobs to Maine, but intends to veto a bill that will bring in 800-plus jobs and whose defeat could put at risk the several hundred solar jobs already here. Among nearly 100 people who signed up to testify on March 16, only two spoke against the bill, both from the governor’s energy office.

Those speaking in favor of the bill were the utilities, who have opposed earlier solar bills; municipalities, who would welcome the removal of the restriction that currently limits any community solar project to nine households; private citizens whose own solar projects have brought them low energy costs; and solar installers, churches and environmental advocates.

They all deplored the fact that Maine is dead last in New England in the creation of solar energy jobs.

As a member of the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, I gave testimony emphasizing the ethical and spiritual necessity to transition from carbon-based fuels to solar and other clean energy sources in order to leave a healthy world to future generations.

Mainers are a practical lot and know that being good stewards of the Earth also protects and creates jobs. Solar energy supports body and spirit.

Help reduce our dependency on carbon-based fuels, create hundreds of new jobs and bring Maine into the modern world. Ask your legislators to support L.D. 1649.

Melanie Lanctot


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