LePage signs Dion’s law to lower energy costs, expand natural gas

Posted: April 27, 2017 | Senator Dion

Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill by Sen. Mark Dion, D-Portland, to extend for two years the Public Utilities Commission’s existing authority to expand natural gas capacity in Maine.

The law sends a message to the energy market and surrounding states that Maine is eager to lower energy costs by growing the state’s natural gas infrastructure.

“Other New England states will now have more time to follow Maine’s lead and join us in seeking to lower energy costs,” said Sen. Dion. “Expanding natural gas infrastructure, along with developing renewable energy, efficiency, and smart grid technologies further, will form the basis for a cheaper and cleaner energy future for our state and our region.”

In 2013, the Legislature passed the Omnibus Energy Act, which included the Energy Cost Reduction Act, which provided authority for the Public Utilities Commission to enter into a contract for new interstate pipeline capacity, should they determine it is in the best interest of Maine ratepayers and gas users to do so. That authority is set to expire on December 31, 2018. Dion’s bill — LD 344, “An Act To Provide Opportunity for Energy Cost Reduction for Maine Businesses and Citizens” — extends that authority to December 31, 2020.