Target: Maine Governor Paul LePage
Goal: Expand renewable energy programs in the state of Maine
Recently, Maine Governor Paul Le Page vetoed a popular, bipartisan bill to expand solar power in the state. Despite this policy easily passing the state House and Senate, reflecting the will of the people, the governor’s decision has left Maine as the only state in New England that does not offer assistance with solar energy projects. His latest action is indicative of his long track record of opposing renewable energy and his disbelief in climate change science. Urge Gov. Le Page to enact measures that are in line with current scientific data and demand that he take swift action to expand renewable energy programs.
The bill vetoed by Gov. Le Page aimed to reinstate a $2,000 energy rebate program that ended in 2013 and helped home and business owners install solar and hot water energy systems. It was paid for by placing a one-hundredth of a cent per kilowatt-hour fee on consumers’ electric bills, amounting to approximately five cents more per month. The governor cited higher energy costs for residents and colder weather as reasons he opposed the bill.
Rep. Terry Morrison, the bill’s sponsor, has argued that the expansion of renewable energy is better for the environment and its inhabitants. Solar energy is renewable, clean, and helps keep energy prices down. The governor’s veto threatens a growing industry within the state and hurts efforts to curb climate change.
Gov. LePage has previously opposed efforts to increase energy efficiency and he has publicly claimed that climate science is a hoax. The residents of Maine should not be adversely affected because their governor is unwilling to acknowledge the reality of climate change. Demand that Gov. Le Page take steps to reinstate the solar energy rebate program in the state of Maine.
Dear Governor LePage,
I am writing to urge you to reinstate the solar energy rebate program in the state of Maine. Renewable energy is the way of the future, and home and business owners should receive assistance when they take the initiative to increase energy efficiency.
Local renewable energy creates jobs, reduces the impact of global warming, protects the market from price spikes, and keeps prices down for consumers. According to the Solar Foundation, 40 companies employed 790 people in the solar industry in the state of Maine in 2013. Investing in renewable energy would also make it easier for low-income residents to qualify for high-efficiency heat pump rebates, which would lower their heating oil costs.
As governor, it is your duty to uphold the will of the residents of the state of Maine. The bill that you vetoed had widespread, bipartisan support and easily passed both the House and Senate, reflecting the will of the residents. I urge you to listen to your constituents and their elected representatives, and reinstate the solar energy rebate program.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Gray Watson via Wikimedia Commons