While many of us are thinking of summer and hoping for sunnier days, lawmakers at the State House sit in the shadows of stacks of proposed laws. Much work remains to be done before they can adjourn this legislative session, and among the bills they must consider are two focused on solar energy. If passed into law, one of the bills (L.D. 1504) would keep financial incentives for residential rooftop solar in place into 2021, while the other bill (L.D. 1444) would support expanded use of solar energy by large users such as municipalities and businesses.

Supporting solar energy means decreasing electricity bills and increasing job opportunities in Maine’s solar industry. Investing in solar energy also supports the health of our planet and therefore our health. Maine’s geographic location puts us in the path of air pollution blowing in on westerly winds from other states. As a result, we have higher than average asthma rates. Additionally, rollbacks of environmental protection measures by the Trump Administration will further harm Mainers. We must act locally to do everything we can to combat climate change, and this includes supporting sources of clean, renewable energy such as solar and wind.

Anyone who tells you supporting solar is too expensive simply has the facts wrong. For more information on the benefits of solar energy visit the Solar for ME website, solarforme.org, and the Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Solar Power in Maine webpage (www.nrcm.org).

I urge you to call or email your state senator and representative and ask them to move Maine forward by voting yes on L.D.s 1504 and 1444.

Amanda Meader