Says ‘no’ to thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment in Maine’s clean energy future.
NRCM news release
“The LePage Administration’s anti-wind rampage continued today with his Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC) decision to renege on its offshore wind agreement.
“In 2013, the global energy giant Statoil withdrew its proposal to begin building floating offshore wind turbines in Maine after LePage pushed the Commission to re-visit the agreement it had made with Statoil. The StatOil project would have created as many as 341 jobs and triggered at least $120 million in investment, according to the draft power-purchase contract.
“The legacy of that decision still haunts Maine, as we see other countries and states to our south move forward with offshore wind, reaping the resulting economic boost. Instead of beginning to repair the damage from that fateful move, today’s decision is déjà vu.
“Ironically, in 2013, LePage said he rejected the Statoil agreement to give an advantage to the University of Maine’s offshore wind proposal. In a hypocritical move, this year LePage’s Energy Office urged the Commission to scuttle the UMaine-backed project, too.
“Today the Commission has revealed this hypocrisy for all to see: this Administration will do anything to thwart renewable energy development, whether it comes from international investors or our own University of Maine. When it comes to renewable energy development, the LePage Administration is “closed for business,” from a sweeping moratorium on onshore wind to today’s bad faith decision to renege on a previous agreement.
“Unfortunately this news is not surprising. In 2017, the LePage Administration supported a piece of legislation that would have banned any offshore wind development in the area carefully selected by Maine Aqua Ventus.
“Today’s decision is out-of-line with the views of Maine people and with our economic interests. In a poll conducted this April, 72% of likely Maine voters said they support actions to create an offshore wind industry in Maine. And just days ago a new study was released that showed that a vital offshore wind industry could create more than 2,000 of new Maine jobs.
“Today the LePage-appointed PUC Commission said ‘no’ to thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment in Maine’s clean energy future.
“We don’t yet know whether this decision will kill the Maine Aqua Ventus project. We do know it sends a tragic message to businesses and investors everywhere that doing business with Maine is risky. That’s something Maine’s environment and economy can ill afford.”