Maine

News Clips
The Risky Natural Gas Pipeline Mainers Don’t Know They’re On The Hook For

… Conservation Law Foundation attorney Ben Tettlebaum joins the Beacon podcast this week to discuss the decision by the members of the Maine Public Utilities Commission to ignore the recommendations of their own staff and potentially allow fossil fuel companies to bankroll a new, risky gas pipeline with public funds. “The fossil fuel industry hoodwinked the PUC…

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Maine PUC Recommends Rejecting Pipeline Gamble with Consumer Dollars
by Ben Tettlebaum

For two years, CLF has been fighting for the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to reject the natural gas industry’s ploy to keep the region addicted to natural gas by forcing consumers to pay for an unnecessary $1.5 billion pipeline. Now, the PUC’s own staff is recommending just that. Hot on the heels of the recent downfall of Kinder…

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Faces of Ocean Planning: Rebecca Clark Uchenna of the Island Institute
by Aimee Bushman

“Island life” is pretty unique. For some islanders, day-to-day life means relying on ferries to the mainland to go to work or buy groceries and other household goods. For many others, livelihoods depend on occupations deeply rooted in the sea – from fishing, to owning marine-oriented businesses, to preserving local maritime history and culture. Each island…

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Right Whales and Cashes Ledge: How to Make a Good Thing Last
by Tricia Jedele

In late January, North Atlantic right whales scored a big win when the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) expanded the critical habitat for the endangered whale from 4,500 square nautical miles to 28,000 square nautical miles. The original area included only a portion of Cape Cod Bay and an area east of Nantucket near the Great…

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A Model for the Future: Maine Looks at Alternate Ways to Boost Solar Power Adoption
by Sean Mahoney

The world’s focus today is on how we can de-carbonize our power supply in ways that are good for people, our planet, and our global economy. There’s no question that solar power will play a key role in our transition to a clean-energy-fueled power grid here in the U.S. – but how to best adapt that grid to absorb dramatic growth in the number of solar-powered homes and businesses remains an open question.

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Local Food Innovation: A Win for Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

This past weekend, ten teams competed to win the first ever Maine Farm, Fish, and Food Innovation Challenge. What’s an “Innovation Challenge”? Think Top Chef for startup businesses aimed at expanding the sustainable distribution, processing, marketing, and aggregation of Maine foods. Thirty-six participants representing 10 teams participated in the weekend event at Bowdoin College. Over…

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Can a Portland Food Policy Council Help Lead New England’s Food System?
by Ben Tettlebaum

For the first time in Portland’s history candidates for mayor and city council gathered over the last two nights to discuss all things food. Why? Because food touches everyone. The food system is the path food travels from field to fork and back again into production. It is a cycle that encompasses critical social and environmental…

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Experts Weigh In: Maine Doesn’t Need New Gas Pipelines
by Ivria Glass Fried

This week consultants hired by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) concluded that Maine should not enter into contracts to purchase gas pipeline capacity because the costs of doing so would outweigh the benefits to Mainers. In many ways, this was a foregone conclusion – one that CLF predicted nearly a year ago and that the PUC itself (unofficially) reached before soliciting proposals from pipeline companies and spending taxpayer dollars on a lengthy consultant’s report. It’s a cautionary tale not just for Maine but for all of New England as the region weighs its energy future – and decides whether it will overinvest in natural gas or blaze a trail based on cleaner, renewable resources.

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UPDATE: Take Action: Restore Energy Efficiency Funding in Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

With one stroke of his veto pen, Governor Paul LePage planned to wipe out more than $35 million in funding for energy efficiency in Maine, which would have cost Mainers $200 million a year in lost savings and higher energy bills. But Maine’s legislature stood strong, overriding the governor’s veto and restoring the state’s energy efficiency funding.