The Coastal Packet: Legislature fails to override LePage veto of solar bill

Thursday, August 3

Legislature fails to override LePage veto of solar bill

Natural Resources Council of Maine - The Maine House of Representatives voted to sustain Governor LePage’s veto of the solar bill, despite the fact that the bill passed the House and Senate initially by more than a two-thirds super majority. Seven Republican legislators changed their position from their prior support and today voted to sustain LePage’s veto of the measure. The Senate voted 28-6 to override and the House voted 88-48, falling three votes short of two-thirds.

“Today, too many lawmakers turned their back on jobs of the future for Maine and bowed to pressure from the Governor's office, Central Maine Power, Emera, and other utility and fossil fuel industry groups from across the nation,” says Dylan Voorhees, Climate and Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “They failed to support the small businesses that are struggling to create and sustain jobs from Kittery to Fort Kent, and they ignored the need and desire to transition to cleaner, renewable energy sources.

“At the strong urging of the governor, lawmakers today voted to raise electric bills, deny Mainers good jobs, generate more pollution, stall Maine’s transition to clean energy, and make it harder for Maine people and businesses to generate their own solar power.

“This vote allows the Public Utilities Commission to begin its extreme, nationally unprecedented new tax on self-consumption of power. That’s a bitter pill for a state whose forest products industry has long depended on the right to consume the power they produce without penalty, and bad news for a state trying to catch up on a revolutionary technology that allows every home and business to affordably produce their own power, too."

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