New law puts state on track to triple renewable energy generation

May 17, 2019

Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor, and Ania Wright and Sara Lowgren (far left), youth climate leaders and students at College of the Atlantic, join Gov. Janet Mills as she signs LD 658. Sponsored by Hubbell, the measure puts Maine on a path to triple in-state renewable energy generation by 2030.

AUGUSTA – A bill from Rep. Brian Hubbell, D-Bar Harbor, putting Maine on a path to triple in-state renewable energy generation by 2030 is now law.

“Maine’s economic prosperity over the next generation hinges on sound energy planning within the next few years,” said Hubbell. Our state has abundant potential from wind, biomass, solar and hydropower, but until now we have lacked a comprehensive vision for sustainable energy development. With a thoughtful, long-term plan, we can pursue energy independence, community resilience and economic prosperity for Maine.

LD 658 creates a process for Maine to meet the full value of its energy usage in the residential, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. The result will provide the direction necessary to reach the 30-year carbon emissions reduction goals in Gov. Janet Millss recently announced climate action plan.

Mills signed the measure Friday after presenting LD 1679, her bill to create the Maine Climate Change Council, to the Legislatures Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

On the environmental side, if we are indeed serious about curtailing carbon emissions, we need to identify what combination of renewable energy sources and energy conservation efforts can match the needs of Maine citizens and industry, Hubbell said. On the economic side, our state needs the jobs and economic benefit that will result from producing energy here instead of importing it.

Maine currently spends more than $5 billion annually on energy, $3.4 billion of which is spent on imported petroleum. The bill calls for offsetting the full $5 billion value of energy imported, making the state a net energy exporter within 10 years.

Hubbell is serving his fourth term in the Maine House. He is a member of the Legislatures budget-writing committee.

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