We are writing to express our disappointment that our state representative, John Picchiotti, R-Fairfield, voted against a solar energy bill, L.D. 1649. The bill passed the House by a vote of 91-56 and the Senate unanimously. We’re grateful that our senator, Scott Cyrway, R-Benton, voted for the bill.

Unfortunately, Picchiotti voted against the bill despite the fact that it will create more than 600 new jobs in Maine’s solar industry over the next four years and get Maine out of last place in New England on solar production. It will also reduce our electric bills, according to the state’s electric ratepayer advocate.

Of course, Gov. Paul LePage is expected to veto L.D. 1649. To override the veto, two-thirds of the House and Senate need to vote to override. We urge Picchiotti to change his vote and vote to override the anticipated veto.

L.D. 1649 would speed up solar installations in Maine and create about 650 new jobs. The bill would create about 200 new megawatts of solar in Maine in four years. That is eight times the solar panels we have in Maine today. This is a huge opportunity to move Maine’s economy forward.

Maine is missing out on solar jobs because we lack state policies to spur its growth.

Richard Flanagan

Susan Allein

Fairfield