Senator Lawrence, Representative Berry, and distinguished members of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. My name is David Costello. I am the Climate and Clean Energy Program Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), and I am testifying today in strong opposition to LD 101, An Act to Prohibit Offshore Wind Energy Development.
OSW Key to Maine’s Clean Energy Future
Harnessing an optimal amount of Maine’s offshore wind energy (OSW) resource is vital to our efforts to reduce the harmful health, economic, and environmental impacts of climate change. It is also key to maximizing the tremendous employment and community and economic development opportunities associated with Maine’s accelerating clean energy transition. This transition is already supporting local jobs and businesses; lowering electricity bills; increasing state and local revenues; and helping to build a more reliable and resilient electric grid.
OSW Prohibition Would Hinder Climate Action and Economic Growth
LD 101 would undermine this important transition and hamper Maine’s employment and revenue growth in the years ahead by needlessly prohibiting OSW development off the coast of Maine. LD 101 would also significantly hinder the state’s ability to meet its statutorily required renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
Balanced Approach, Minimizing Impacts
NRCM recognizes that OSW development may have impacts on existing uses of the Gulf of Maine, but we also believe that the Gulf is large enough to support multiple uses, including power generation. We strongly support efforts by the Mills Administration, University of Maine, and others to avoid, minimize, and mitigate potentially harmful impacts and ensure that OSW is developed in a way that works for all Maine families and communities. Importantly, we share a commitment to a future where clean energy, fishing, lobstering, and many other uses coexist and flourish in the Gulf of Maine.
LD 101 would unreasonably impede such a future. For these reasons NRCM strongly opposes LD 101. Thank you for your consideration, and I welcome any questions that you may have.