I am a 12-year-old girl who lives in Bremen. I know Gov. Paul LePage values low, affordable energy costs, and I know he has been trying while in office to keep energy from costing ratepayers too much money. He wants people to easily and comfortably afford electricity in Maine, and his strategy has been to put price ahead of politics. On May 12, 2015, the Portland Press Herald released an article recognizing the three bills that were submitted to lowering energy costs. But Maine doesn’t have an effective solar policy that will help residents and businesses invest in solar power.

LePage has continually vetoed or spoke against legislation that supports solar energy: a clean, pollution-free, renewable source. For example, in March 2016, he spoke against legislation (solar bill L.D. 1649) that would increase Maine’s solar capacity from 20 megawatts to 248 megawatts over the next five years. The bill would have created 600 high-tech solar jobs, tripling the amount of solar jobs in the state and would have lowered electricity bills across the state. The bill had the support of solar installers, Maine’s Office of the Public Advocate, and utilities Central Maine Power Co. and Emera, because they agree it would have benefited all ratepayers, not just solar adopters.

New federal support and lower prices have boosted solar installations. Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts all ranked in the top 15 states for solar installations and solar job creation last year. But Maine has been lagging in last place in New England.

Maine can adopt a new solar policy that will increase our solar industries, reduce the risk of climate change, lower energy costs, and create high technology jobs. The governor should stop vetoing solar legislation and support bills that will change Maine’s energy future.

Anna Kelly

Bremen

(Sixth-grade student, Center for Teaching & Learning)


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