Thirty Year Transition Period

Transitioning to a zero-carbon energy system essentially requires displacing current expenditures on fossil fuels with capital spending on new renewable energy generation and distribution.

A presentation given yesterday by economist Richard Silkman to the Maine Climate Council’s Energy Working Group, shows how this transition can be accomplished by 2050 within Maine’s current energy spending …

Governor Mills Unveils Ten Year Strategic Economic Development Plan Focused on Promoting Innovation & Attracting Talent

Keying all the way back to the initiative for this that the legislature included in the state budget, this plan has been well stewarded by Commissioner Johnson in partnership with an excellent group of dedicated individuals from business and academic institutions.

With the upcoming session in January, I am …

Maine Projected Revenues Up By $75 Million Through The Rest Of The Two Year Budget

Continuing evidence that state spending in Maine remains at responsible levels and that the two-year budget that we enacted in June was prudent.

The table and graph above shows how state spending has decreased over the past 20 years as a percentage of personal income. (Personal income correlates closely with the state’s Gross Domestic Product …

Maine is about to release its first 10-year economic plan. Here’s what to expect.

As a member of Maine’s Economic Growth Council, I am looking forward to this report and eager to support this plan in the upcoming legislative session.

I worked to ensure that the state budget included language giving specific direction to the development of this plan.

Gov. Mills orders state agencies to step up Maine’s fight against climate change

Marked the installation of a large array solar panels at The Blaine House on an auspiciously bright sunny afternoon yesterday.

Here — joined by my colleagues, Speaker Sara Gideon, Seth Berry, Stanley Paige Zeigler, Vicki Wenzel Doudera, and Hannah Pingree — Governor Janet Mills is signing an executive order directing state agencies to develop plan …

California, Maine and 21 other states widen challenge to Trump administration car rules

Especially in the absence of federal leadership, states must be able to regulate carbon emissions. I am glad that Maine is a partner in this effort.

Maine’s prosperity depends on welcoming new families

Here are my remarks from today’s press conference on immigration reform to mark today’s Supreme Court hearing on DACA and immigration legislation that is now stalled in the US Senate:

As in many other parts of the state, businesses in my district face increasingly acute challenges to find employees. These challenges are frequently exacerbated by …

Experts urge “full speed ahead” on climate action

To explain why I am committed to immediate work through the Maine Climate Council, here outlined from this week’s symposium at MIT, are the foundational reasons prompting us collectively towards direct action.

  • 25 of the warmest years in human history have occured in he last 32 years
  • In the same period the resulting

In address, Gov. Mills vows Maine will be carbon neutral by 2045, and challenges others

“…Maine won’t wait. Will you?”

Thank you, Governor Janet Mills!

Maine Schools Going Solar – Not Only To Protect Environment But To Boost Bottom Lines

Youth voices are moving climate and energy policy — both regionally by example and statewide through effective advocacy. This is how change happens.

Hubbell praises students’ climate action

“…Students have been active in social and political causes before.

“But their recent level of engagement in the issue of climate change is something special, state Rep. Brian Hubbell, said at the celebration of the completion of the solar energy project at Mount Desert Island High School last Wednesday.

“This feels different … to have …

Free community college program teaches next generation of Maine loggers

On Friday, my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee and I got to visit this program outside of Stratton, talk with the students, and observe their remarkable skills with mechanized logging operations.

The relatively modest state investment in this partnership between the Maine Community College System and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine appears to be …

Maine offers rebates for buyers of hybrid and electric vehicles

These rebates are an important early step in support of beneficial electrification of transportation which is key to reducing Maine’s importation and consumption of fossil fuels and building capacity for economic development through in-state renewable energy generation.

Thank you Governor Janet Mills for leading early with this program. I’m looking forward to greater legislative partnership …

How regional youth advocacy effectively can help move hard state policy:

“…This is what leaves me with great optimism about our ability, collectively, to advocate from community and as a result move good policy on hard issues in a way that improves our prospects for the future.”

At The End Of The Fiscal Year, Maine Reports Revenue Surplus And Increase In Cash Reserves

Maine’s biennial budget requires bipartisan agreement and collaboration between both the legislative and executive branches. As a result, neither branch nor either party deserves all the credit during good times or all the blame in bad times.

But, through any lens, here is the evidence that state spending remains prudently within sustainable revenues:

One year …

Russians likely targeted election systems in all 50 states, Senate report says

To endure, democracy requires public confidence in voting systems and election results.

Given yesterday’s troubling report from the US Senate Intelligence Committee, I am especially gratified that, as a result of legislation that I worked on this session with the League of Women Voters of Maine and the Democracy Partnership, Maine’s own state elections …

Winners and losers of the 2019 legislative session

Certainly there remains much to work on in the second session. But, beyond the many accomplishments within the biennial budget, I am greatly satisfied with the progress made this year on my own priorities related to renewable energy, climate emissions reductions, and strategic economic planning for increased research and development.

I look forward to further …

Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor

Along with renewing the state’s commitment to off-shore wind, this is how Maine will accomplish our substantial ten-year and thirty-year goals for reducing carbon emissions.

Good work all around this legislative session. This will be good for Maine’s economy.

Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor, Press Herald, 19 June 2019…

Maine legislature passes strong, bipartisan two-year budget

June 14, 2019

Maine Legislature Passes Strong, Bipartisan Two-Year Budget

AUGUSTA – The Maine House and Senate voted today to pass the bipartisan budget agreement reached by the Appropriations Committee, sending the budget to Governor’s desk to be signed into law. The vote was 104-38 in the House and 25-9 in the Senate in favor …

Maine Legislature approves new state budget of nearly $8 billion

I’m proud of the collaborative effort that this budget represents. Building on four weeks of public hearings, my colleagues on the Appropriations committee from both parties worked diligently and in good faith, line by line, for nearly five months. Throughout we benefited from bipartisan recommendations from each legislative policy committee and we received enormous cooperation …

Budget process a welcome return to normalcy

“…It is important to appreciate that lawmakers and the governor worked on building a two-year budget in a collegial, cooperative way. There were no public ultimatums, no threats of a government shutdown. Of course, not everyone got what they wanted. …But, the budget — and its bipartisan support in the Appropriations Committee — signals a …

The money at stake in the battle over CMP’s 145-mile electric line

“…The line is projected to reduce New England’s carbon footprint by around 3 million metric tons a year, which is the equivalent of removing 700,000 cars from the road.

“…Opposing the line in both Massachusetts and Maine regulatory proceedings is NextEra Energy Resources, the world’s largest producer of solar and wind energy, which also has …

Energy bill sails through

“Our state has abundant potential from wind, biomass, solar and hydropower,” Hubbell said, “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.”

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, …

An Act To Promote Clean Energy Jobs and To Establish the Maine Climate Council

I am proud and honored to cosponsor Governor Mills’ comprehensive bill for climate mitigation, adaptation, and carbon emissions reductions. This bill will update the state’s Climate Action Plan which I helped establish in 2004 and which has languished in the last decade.

The bill stipulates that, by 2030, the State shall reduce gross annual …

Governor Mills Introduces Bill to Establish Maine Climate Council

I’m grateful for Governor Janet T. Mills’ leadership and Hannah Pingree’s hard work and dedication in moving forward this comprehensive initiative for emissions reduction, climate action, and energy policy. I look forward to continuing to work with this administration to effect real change and economic benefit for Maine.

Youth Climate Action at the State House

Honored to be visited today at the statehouse by these climate action leaders, Iris Fen Gillingham and Ania Wright from College of the Atlantic. Iris and Ania are leaders of today’s Climate Youth Day of Action and you may have heard them yesterday, as exceptionally composed and articulate guests on Maine Public Radio’s Maine Calling.

The Environment: Janet Mills, Paul LePage on two different planets

The Governor and her staff outline a solid plan here and I look forward to working with it. My bill LD 658, which plans to triple Maine’s renewable energy capacity by 2030, will aid the effort.

Testimony presenting LD 658: Resolve, To Direct a Plan for Energy Independence for Maine

“…As a first step, this plan can make an inventory of resources and evaluate the relative returns on investment in each available sector of renewable energy — including returns from conservation and efficiency — and then scale and sum those components by cost-effectiveness into one feasible comprehensive strategy which, in total, is capable of offsetting …

Maine should plan for energy independence by 2030

Maine’s  energy systems place our state today at a critical decision point.  

On one hand, inaction and inertia leads to grave economic disruptions from a sharply changing climate.

On the other, an expansion of renewable energy offers real economic opportunity.

Technological innovations are propelling neighboring states and provinces to capitalize on the promise and …