Carson Casey’s recent op-ed about power grid capacity (Maine Voices, Jan. 24) is timely and important: In order to meet the necessary carbon reduction goals for a livable climate, we need to convert to renewable energy sources quickly. We now have potential subsidies and tax incentives to build out the necessary infrastructure to generate and transmit sufficient green energy, but permitting delays and roadblocks can scuttle such projects.

At present, our growth in electricity transmission is about 1% per year. To meet our transmission needs on time, this must increase to 3% per year. The Inflation Reduction Act has the potential to reduce our emissions by 40% by 2030. If we do not speed up the permitting process, the current trajectory will limit us to perhaps a fifth of that.

Reforming the permitting process does not mean we need to skirt existing environmental regulations. It means finding ways of streamlining the process while engaging affected communities and all stakeholders early on in the process. This will require policy changes at both federal and state levels. Please support them.

Paul Stancioff

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