July 26, 2023 (Augusta, ME) — Earlier this morning at about 3:00 a.m., the Maine Legislature passed a historic bill to encourage 3GW of offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine while creating good-paying jobs, protecting wildlife, avoiding key fishing grounds, and supporting new port construction.
Below is a statement from the Natural Resources Council of Maine CEO Rebeccah Sanders on this groundbreaking clean energy milestone:
“This new law will be a model for the rest of the nation for how people can come together across differences with common purpose to build a just clean energy economy that works for everyone.
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change we must act quickly to responsibly develop large amounts of new renewable energy like wind and solar to power our homes, businesses, and transportation.
Maine has set the stage for a competitive new clean energy industry that will bring thousands of family-supporting jobs, protect the rich array of wildlife in the Gulf of Maine, ensure fishing communities have a voice in the process, and keep us on our trajectory to meet a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.”
The consensus bill was sponsored by Senator Mark Lawrence (D-York) and developed in collaboration with organized labor, a key fisheries group, lawmakers, the Mills Administration, and conservation organizations. Governor Mills is expected to sign it into law.
The offshore wind bill will:
- Procure 3 GW of offshore wind power in the Gulf of Maine by 2040, supplying affordable, reliable offshore wind to power homes, businesses, and transportation.
- Incentivize responsibly developed wind projects that protect wildlife and avoid Lobster Management Area 1, Maine’s key fishing grounds.
- Set strong and comprehensive labor and workforce development standards for good-paying jobs and ensure inclusive benefits for Maine’s most vulnerable communities.
- Support the creation of a world-class, Maine-built offshore wind port that will bring in billions of dollars in economic development.
- Help meet Maine’s bipartisan emissions reduction targets and put the state on a path to meeting the proposed goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.