This spring, the vast majority of Maine legislators voted to significantly expand solar power in our state. The bill introduced by Rep. Sara Gideon, D-Freeport, was the result of tough negotiations among utilities, the solar industry, the PUC public advocate, and environmental and public health groups.

Unfortunately, because of the governor’s veto, a two-thirds vote was needed for passage and the measure lost by two votes. It was very disappointing to see Rep. Gary Hilliard, R-Belgrade, vote against solar power. The bill received support from Democrats and a number of courageous Republicans who were strong enough to push back against the governor and the House minority leader.

But our representative was not among this group. Hilliard supported a $13 million taxpayer bailout to the failing biomass electric industry in the final days of the Legislature but voted against the solar power bill, which is also a renewable energy source, provides many jobs and is greatly needed in Maine.

Peter and Lois Doran


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