Maine

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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.

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Farmers and Lawyers: A Match Made in Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

Noah Fralich moved back home to Maine with one ambition: to open a business on his family’s land in New Gloucester. His fledgling cidery business was just getting off the ground when he hit a snag – the name of his business was already trademarked by someone else. Now, in the midst of trying to grow…

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A Single Word Could Restore Maine Energy Efficiency Funding
by Ben Tettlebaum

A recent decision by the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) severely limits energy efficiency funding in the state. If the decision stands, Efficiency Maine Trust – the public entity that runs energy efficiency programs – would see its near-term budget cut from about $60 million to $22 million. This drastic cut in energy efficiency funding…

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Smart Moves for Maine’s Electricity Grid
by Ben Tettlebaum

Several years ago, Maine took a small but significant and unprecedented step toward modernizing its electric grid. Rather than implement a traditional “poles and wires” transmission build out to address growing electricity needs in the Boothbay Harbor region, the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved an innovative pilot project. The Boothbay Pilot relies on so-called…