Senate Approves Bill Unanimously, Under the Hammer Sending it to the Governor’s Desk
Statement of Dylan Voorhees, NRCM Clean Energy Director
“We applaud the Senate and the full Legislature for final passage of this simple bill to uphold the clear legislative intent of the omnibus energy bill and save Maine people and businesses a billion dollars.
“Despite rhetoric about this issue from some quarters, support for this bill to simply reinsert the missing ‘and’ has been strong and bipartisan from the start, with two Democratic and two Republican co-sponsors, and overwhelming bipartisan votes from the committee to the floor.
“That is good news because there is a lot of stake if the law is not applied as was intended. Dozens of Maine energy business who help homes and businesses take advantage of Efficiency Maine programs had begun to invest, hire and expand because they anticipated the sustained increase in funding called for in the Omnibus Energy Bill. Those jobs are in jeopardy as long as uncertainty on this issue remains.
“If Efficiency Maine does not receive the funds connected with the missing ‘and’ then Maine businesses, industry and homeowners will have higher energy bills. In fact, failure to correct this error would result in Maine people paying $190 million more in energy bills for every year the unintended efficiency cap stays in place.
“The governor has consistently spoken about the need to lower energy costs: few actions would go as far toward that goal as allowing this bill to become law. We hope he will recognize what is stake for Maine’s economy and energy costs and join in the bipartisan support for this simple bill.”