Veto Wipes Out Nearly $200 Million in Savings and Raises Energy Bills
June 23, 2015 (AUGUSTA, Maine) — Conservation Law Foundation released the following statement today in response to Governor LePage’s veto of LD 1215, an Act that restores funding to Efficiency Maine Trust, the entity that provides energy efficiency programs in the state. Because of an accidental omission of a single word – “and” – in the Omnibus Energy Act, passed in 2013, the Maine Public Utilities Commission recently interpreted the statute to reduce, rather than increase, funding for energy efficiency in the state. In May, legislators voted almost unanimously to pass a bill that restores the missing “and” to uphold the bill’s original intent of funding energy efficiency programs. Governor LePage vetoed the revised bill.
“Governor LePage is supposed to represent and serve the best interests of Maine residents, but instead he abuses his power and takes money out of people’s pockets,” said Sean Mahoney, Executive Vice President, Conservation Law Foundation. “With one stroke of his veto pen, Governor LePage has wiped out $38 million in funding for energy efficiency in Maine, which could cost Mainers nearly $200 million a year in lost savings and higher energy bills.”
“Unless our Legislators want the people of Maine to waste energy, pay more for electricity, and leave almost $200 million in energy savings on the table every year, they must override the Governor’s veto,” continued Mahoney. “We literally cannot afford for our representatives to cave in to Governor LePage’s bullying tactics.”
Read CLF’s blog A Single Word Could Restore Maine Energy Efficiency Funding for more information on the energy efficiency bill and the implications of the Governor’s vote.