Time for lawmakers to override solar veto
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Via the Portland Press Herald, the editorial board speaks out about the need for the Maine legislature to override Governor Paul LePage’s veto of L.D. 1504, Maine’s solar bill:
The governor maintains his opposition to solar power, again claiming that he is protecting the poor and elderly from being taken advantage of by people rich enough to afford solar panels.
The good news is that the governor has the facts wrong. The PUC commissioned an economic study two years ago that shows that all ratepayers benefit from a more dependable grid that results from distributed generation of solar power.
The bad news is that the governor doesn’t care if he’s got the facts wrong. His opposition to solar energy is personal and political rather than economic. LePage had no problem making the poor and elderly pay a little more on their electric bills when he wanted to finance a natural gas pipeline to buy above-market-price power from failing biomass plants. He will keep fighting regardless of what the facts are.
Meanwhile, other states are benefiting from a clean energy boom created by plummeting prices for solar panels. It’s lowering utility bills for individuals and businesses while creating jobs. Maine could get a piece of that action if lawmakers – especially Republicans in the House of Representatives – stand up to the pressure and hold firm to the votes they cast last month.