We Can Get There From Here: Maine Energy Efficiency Ballot Initiative

Sean Mahoney | @SeanCLF

Maine has a new motto: We can get there from here.

As Washington has failed to advance clean energy legislation, and Governor LePage has expressed open hostility to the state’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS), I am reminded of that famous quip from Bert and I: “You can’t get they-ah from he-ah.” For Mainers concerned about Maine’s dependence on expensive, dirty fuels, and sincere in their interest in building a sustainable economy for the years to come, this quip has become a frustrating reality – a reality we can change, with your help.

CLF is a part of a coalition of groups from the private and nonprofit sectors, the Maine Citizens For Clean Energy, www.cleaneenergymaine.org,  that is working to enact a law by public referendum that would increase the amount of renewable energy generated in the state and increase our ability to implement energy efficiency measures that would reduce our reliance on oil and other fossil fuels, saving us money and helping our environment at the same time.

To do this, we need to get the referendum  on the ballot for state-wide vote in November 2012 by gathering more than 70,000 signatures from Maine voters by January 2012. The signs are strong: we have met with considerable early success, are ahead of our goals, and see evidence of strong support from Maine residents.

This year, on November 8th, 28,000 Maine voters registered their interest in putting a citizen’s initiative on next year’s ballot to expand clean energy in Maine. The coalition, as Environment Maine said in their press release, had set a goal of 20,000 only two weeks before. In our current effort to collect 70,000 signatures, we are well ahead of our goals.

This should not be surprising, as polls of Maine residents have consistently shown strong support for energy efficiency. One poll, conducted by NRDC, showed “Nearly 80% of voters back the use and expansion of energy efficiency technologies.” Another, conducted by Portland-based Critical Insights and discussed by NRCM, “shows that Maine voters overwhelming oppose specific environmental rollback proposals now before the Maine Legislature.”

Groups in Maine have heard and are working to promote the interest of Maine voters. Already, CLF is working with a coalition of Maine businesses, workers, health professionals, citizens and public interest groups. We are joined by – Reed & Reed, general contractor, NRCM, and the Maine Renewable Energy Association, among others.

The message Maine voters have delivered so far is clear: We can get there from here.  We need your help.  Please sign a petition supporting the referendum or better yet, volunteer to gather signatures in your community.

This ballot initiative comes at a crucial time and allows for a broad discussion by the people of Maine as to the value of renewable and energy efficiency. If successful, the ballot measure would require that the current RPS be increased by 20 percent by 2020 and would ensure adequate funding from utilities for all cost-effective efficiency measures.

If you’d like to help ensure the passage of this ballot initiative, you can do two things.

First, help us gather signatures. If you haven’t signed the petition, please do so now.

And, secondly, if you’re willing to volunteer – more than willing to provide you with all you’ll need. Simply get in touch with us here at our Portland, Maine, office.

Help us, and our broad coalition, to deliver to Maine what voters want: expanded energy efficiency and, with it, a clean, clear path forward.

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16 Responses to “We Can Get There From Here: Maine Energy Efficiency Ballot Initiative”

  1. Barbara Durkin

    I hope that Governor LePage continues his battle against the RPS in Maine. The dominant wind force in MA and ME is First Wind. The Director of First Wind is Patrick Wood III, who was Chairman of the TX PUC when the RPS, model statute for the states’, was adopted. Wood was later appointed Chair of FERC and tasked by President Bush to clean up after the CA energy crisis and Enron.
    In Wood’s failure to do so, he set the stage for his personal gain, stimulus, grants and loan guarantees.

    Now that First Wind has exposed the residents of Maine to wind energy, the bloom is gone and the thorns are all that’s left.

    As reflected in a Report by the Maine Center for Public Policy:

    ‘Some who created wind-power fast track now questioning the goals they set — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

    AUGUSTA, Maine — The Wind Energy Act of 2008, which gave developers a fast track for putting up wind turbines on some of the state’s treasured high ground, was a piece of legislation passed at the time in the name of jobs, energy independence and climate change.

    “There is tremendous potential for Maine to become a leader in clean, renewable energy, including wind energy,” said Gov. John Baldacci, who appointed the task force whose report led to the bill. “This kind of investment would create jobs and help to expand Maine’s economy.”

    But now, two years after the law was championed by Baldacci, some members of the task force who supported the Wind Energy Act are questioning whether the goals they set for wind power can or even should be achieved.

    Critics and even some one-time supporters say the proponents of the law were swept up in a tidal wave of enthusiasm for a technology that turns out to require significant sacrifice from the state, but has little to offer Maine in return…” [cut] continue reading this article by link:

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/09/news/some-who-created-windpower-fast-track-now-questioning-the-goals-they-set/

  2. Barbara Durkin

    I hope that Governor LePage continues his battle against the RPS in Maine. The dominant wind force in MA and ME is First Wind. The Director of First Wind is Patrick Wood III, who was Chairman of the TX PUC when the RPS, model statute for the states’, was adopted. Wood was later appointed Chair of FERC and tasked by President Bush to clean up after the CA energy crisis and Enron.
    In Wood’s failure to do so, he set the stage for his personal gain, stimulus, grants and loan guarantees.

    Now that First Wind has exposed the residents of Maine to wind energy, the bloom is gone and the thorns are all that’s left.

    As reflected in a Report by the Maine Center for Public Policy:

    ‘Some who created wind-power fast track now questioning the goals they set — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

    AUGUSTA, Maine — The Wind Energy Act of 2008, which gave developers a fast track for putting up wind turbines on some of the state’s treasured high ground, was a piece of legislation passed at the time in the name of jobs, energy independence and climate change.

    “There is tremendous potential for Maine to become a leader in clean, renewable energy, including wind energy,” said Gov. John Baldacci, who appointed the task force whose report led to the bill. “This kind of investment would create jobs and help to expand Maine’s economy.”

    But now, two years after the law was championed by Baldacci, some members of the task force who supported the Wind Energy Act are questioning whether the goals they set for wind power can or even should be achieved.

    Critics and even some one-time supporters say the proponents of the law were swept up in a tidal wave of enthusiasm for a technology that turns out to require significant sacrifice from the state, but has little to offer Maine in return…” [cut] continue reading this article by link:

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/09/news/some-who-created-windpower-fast-track-now-questioning-the-goals-they-set/

  3. Barbara Durkin

    I hope that Governor LePage continues his battle against the RPS in Maine. The dominant wind force in MA and ME is First Wind. The Director of First Wind is Patrick Wood III, who was Chairman of the TX PUC when the RPS, model statute for the states’, was adopted. Wood was later appointed Chair of FERC and tasked by President Bush to clean up after the CA energy crisis and Enron.
    In Wood’s failure to do so, he set the stage for his personal gain, stimulus, grants and loan guarantees.

    Now that First Wind has exposed the residents of Maine to wind energy, the bloom is gone and the thorns are all that’s left.

    As reflected in a Report by the Maine Center for Public Policy:

    ‘Some who created wind-power fast track now questioning the goals they set — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

    AUGUSTA, Maine — The Wind Energy Act of 2008, which gave developers a fast track for putting up wind turbines on some of the state’s treasured high ground, was a piece of legislation passed at the time in the name of jobs, energy independence and climate change.

    “There is tremendous potential for Maine to become a leader in clean, renewable energy, including wind energy,” said Gov. John Baldacci, who appointed the task force whose report led to the bill. “This kind of investment would create jobs and help to expand Maine’s economy.”

    But now, two years after the law was championed by Baldacci, some members of the task force who supported the Wind Energy Act are questioning whether the goals they set for wind power can or even should be achieved.

    Critics and even some one-time supporters say the proponents of the law were swept up in a tidal wave of enthusiasm for a technology that turns out to require significant sacrifice from the state, but has little to offer Maine in return…” [cut] continue reading this article by link:

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/09/news/some-who-created-windpower-fast-track-now-questioning-the-goals-they-set/

  4. Barbara Durkin

    I hope that Governor LePage continues his battle against the RPS in Maine. The dominant wind force in MA and ME is First Wind. The Director of First Wind is Patrick Wood III, who was Chairman of the TX PUC when the RPS, model statute for the states’, was adopted. Wood was later appointed Chair of FERC and tasked by President Bush to clean up after the CA energy crisis and Enron.
    In Wood’s failure to do so, he set the stage for his personal gain, stimulus, grants and loan guarantees.

    Now that First Wind has exposed the residents of Maine to wind energy, the bloom is gone and the thorns are all that’s left.

    As reflected in a Report by the Maine Center for Public Policy:

    ‘Some who created wind-power fast track now questioning the goals they set — Maine News — Bangor Daily News

    AUGUSTA, Maine — The Wind Energy Act of 2008, which gave developers a fast track for putting up wind turbines on some of the state’s treasured high ground, was a piece of legislation passed at the time in the name of jobs, energy independence and climate change.

    “There is tremendous potential for Maine to become a leader in clean, renewable energy, including wind energy,” said Gov. John Baldacci, who appointed the task force whose report led to the bill. “This kind of investment would create jobs and help to expand Maine’s economy.”

    But now, two years after the law was championed by Baldacci, some members of the task force who supported the Wind Energy Act are questioning whether the goals they set for wind power can or even should be achieved.

    Critics and even some one-time supporters say the proponents of the law were swept up in a tidal wave of enthusiasm for a technology that turns out to require significant sacrifice from the state, but has little to offer Maine in return…” [cut] continue reading this article by link:

    http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/09/news/some-who-created-windpower-fast-track-now-questioning-the-goals-they-set/

  5. I am sure Maine citizens favor clean and renewable energy but what they are becoming increasingly aware of is that folks like you and the NRCM have not done their homework.
    It appears to me and many others that your effort is merely a disguised attempt to promote further development of the scam called wind power. You must know that wind can never replace base power on the grid and the billions being spent on it should be redirected to more promising energy sources. Big Wind and their Portland cabal of Greenpeace lawyers main goal has been to make their pockets green while increasing the national debt.
    Please base your efforts on science and let go of your political agenda for the sake of Maine and the country.

  6. I am sure Maine citizens favor clean and renewable energy but what they are becoming increasingly aware of is that folks like you and the NRCM have not done their homework.
    It appears to me and many others that your effort is merely a disguised attempt to promote further development of the scam called wind power. You must know that wind can never replace base power on the grid and the billions being spent on it should be redirected to more promising energy sources. Big Wind and their Portland cabal of Greenpeace lawyers main goal has been to make their pockets green while increasing the national debt.
    Please base your efforts on science and let go of your political agenda for the sake of Maine and the country.

  7. I am sure Maine citizens favor clean and renewable energy but what they are becoming increasingly aware of is that folks like you and the NRCM have not done their homework.
    It appears to me and many others that your effort is merely a disguised attempt to promote further development of the scam called wind power. You must know that wind can never replace base power on the grid and the billions being spent on it should be redirected to more promising energy sources. Big Wind and their Portland cabal of Greenpeace lawyers main goal has been to make their pockets green while increasing the national debt.
    Please base your efforts on science and let go of your political agenda for the sake of Maine and the country.

  8. I am sure Maine citizens favor clean and renewable energy but what they are becoming increasingly aware of is that folks like you and the NRCM have not done their homework.
    It appears to me and many others that your effort is merely a disguised attempt to promote further development of the scam called wind power. You must know that wind can never replace base power on the grid and the billions being spent on it should be redirected to more promising energy sources. Big Wind and their Portland cabal of Greenpeace lawyers main goal has been to make their pockets green while increasing the national debt.
    Please base your efforts on science and let go of your political agenda for the sake of Maine and the country.

  9. Alan Michka

    The irony here is that the Governor’s recent push for more hydropower from Canada and greater availability of natural gas for home heating will probably have far more potential for a quicker reduction in carbon emissions and other fossil fuel pollutants than the CLF single issue campaign of MORE WIND TURBINES ON MORE MAINE MOUNTAINS. It’s got to really irritate them that they’re being upstaged by LePage with a clean energy idea that actually makes more sense than the “pop culture” plan that they are promoting.

    The clean energy referendum initiative is a pig in a poke. Do your homework before you sign this idealogical manifesto. Pay attention to the conspicuous lack of details describing the implications of this referendum.

  10. Alan Michka

    The irony here is that the Governor’s recent push for more hydropower from Canada and greater availability of natural gas for home heating will probably have far more potential for a quicker reduction in carbon emissions and other fossil fuel pollutants than the CLF single issue campaign of MORE WIND TURBINES ON MORE MAINE MOUNTAINS. It’s got to really irritate them that they’re being upstaged by LePage with a clean energy idea that actually makes more sense than the “pop culture” plan that they are promoting.

    The clean energy referendum initiative is a pig in a poke. Do your homework before you sign this idealogical manifesto. Pay attention to the conspicuous lack of details describing the implications of this referendum.

  11. Alan Michka

    The irony here is that the Governor’s recent push for more hydropower from Canada and greater availability of natural gas for home heating will probably have far more potential for a quicker reduction in carbon emissions and other fossil fuel pollutants than the CLF single issue campaign of MORE WIND TURBINES ON MORE MAINE MOUNTAINS. It’s got to really irritate them that they’re being upstaged by LePage with a clean energy idea that actually makes more sense than the “pop culture” plan that they are promoting.

    The clean energy referendum initiative is a pig in a poke. Do your homework before you sign this idealogical manifesto. Pay attention to the conspicuous lack of details describing the implications of this referendum.

  12. Alan Michka

    The irony here is that the Governor’s recent push for more hydropower from Canada and greater availability of natural gas for home heating will probably have far more potential for a quicker reduction in carbon emissions and other fossil fuel pollutants than the CLF single issue campaign of MORE WIND TURBINES ON MORE MAINE MOUNTAINS. It’s got to really irritate them that they’re being upstaged by LePage with a clean energy idea that actually makes more sense than the “pop culture” plan that they are promoting.

    The clean energy referendum initiative is a pig in a poke. Do your homework before you sign this idealogical manifesto. Pay attention to the conspicuous lack of details describing the implications of this referendum.

  13. Frank J. Heller

    I would be glad to help with signatures on any petition that fully includes native hydro power as both renewable and sustainable in the renewable portfolio. Obviously, the majority of Mainers, once they become fully aware of the downside of corporate wind farming, reject it. Many prefer the multiple advantages of hydro power generated & distributed locally.

  14. Frank J. Heller

    I would be glad to help with signatures on any petition that fully includes native hydro power as both renewable and sustainable in the renewable portfolio. Obviously, the majority of Mainers, once they become fully aware of the downside of corporate wind farming, reject it. Many prefer the multiple advantages of hydro power generated & distributed locally.

  15. Frank J. Heller

    I would be glad to help with signatures on any petition that fully includes native hydro power as both renewable and sustainable in the renewable portfolio. Obviously, the majority of Mainers, once they become fully aware of the downside of corporate wind farming, reject it. Many prefer the multiple advantages of hydro power generated & distributed locally.

  16. Frank J. Heller

    I would be glad to help with signatures on any petition that fully includes native hydro power as both renewable and sustainable in the renewable portfolio. Obviously, the majority of Mainers, once they become fully aware of the downside of corporate wind farming, reject it. Many prefer the multiple advantages of hydro power generated & distributed locally.

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