Statement by Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director, NRCM
We are excited to be here as part of a broad coalition of businesses, workers, environmental and public health groups to announce a new clean energy ballot initiative that will move Maine toward greater energy independence, a stronger economy and cleaner air.
You will hear from several speakers in a moment who will talk about what clean energy this initiative means to them, but first let me begin by describing what the initiative would do. The initiative is very simple and builds on existing successful policies:
Current law requires Maine electric utilities to get 10 percent of their electricity from new renewable sources, including solar and wind, by the year 2017. This proposed ballot measure would gradually double that requirement, requiring Maine utilities to get 20 percent of their electricity from new renewable sources by 2020. It would also build on some existing energy efficiency policies designed to lower energy bills in Maine, by requiring utilities to invest in energy efficiency projects and resources whenever doing so would be cost-effective and lower energy costs for consumers.
This clean energy initiative will result in greater energy independence â we will take greater advantage of Maine resources like energy efficiency, wind and solar power that will allow us to move away from imported energy. Another benefit will be cleaner air and finally, and in many ways most importantly, this initiative will strengthen our economy by creating thousands of good jobs here in Maine.
This is just the beginning of a year long-effort, and we look forward to many opportunities to speak with Maine people across the state. There are many parts of the campaignâstarting with demonstrating broad support from voters across Maine by collecting sufficient petition signatures. We’re very excited to be ramping-up that effort and encourage Maine people to help by becoming a volunteer.
Maine people understand that our state’s prosperity lies in increasing energy independence and investing in clean energy opportunities in Maine. The alternative of more status quo dependence on dirty, imported fossil is a risky gamble that will bring enormous costs for Maine people and businesses. This clean energy ballot measure is about reducing threats to our economy by increasing our energy independence, creating a brighter future for Maine.
General Goals of Initiative
- Make Maine less dependent on imported energy.
- Keep Maine’s air clean by speeding up the transition from dirty sources of energyâfossil fuelsâto clean, renewable energy like wind and solar power.
- Create good paying jobs in technology, construction and manufacturing â jobs that can not be exported â at a time when we desperately need them.