THERMAL ENERGY BILL CAUGHT IN LEPAGE VETO SPREE
AUGUSTA – Governor LePage vetoed his 148th bill today, a measure sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson to study the potential benefits of biomass for renewable energy. The measure was previously approved in the Senate in a 26-9 vote.
“Governor LePage has once again let politics get in the way of good policy,” said Senator Jackson of Allagash. “Other states are exploring the benefits of biomass and Maine’s Public Utilities Commission is interested in doing the same. Instead of keeping up with the rest of the country, Governor LePage is continuing to be a barrier to progress for Maine.”
The measure directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to complete a comprehensive study on the potential benefits and barriers to making thermal energies eligible for the State of Maine’s renewable energy portfolio standard. This standard is a regulation that requires at least 30% of energy production in Maine to come from renewable energy sources.
As part of the study, the PUC will review the legislative actions of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maryland to add thermal energies to their portfolios. The PUC will report their findings to the Legislature in 2015.
Governor LePage has exceeded the number of vetoes by any other Governor, including the previous record holder, one-term Governor Jim Longley who issued 118 vetoes.
The Senate will take up the veto of the measure, LD 1468 “Resolve, Directing the Public Utilities Commission To Study the Potential Benefits and Barriers Involved in Making Renewable Thermal Technologies Eligible for Qualification in Maine’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard”, when the Legislature reconvenes on May 1. Two-thirds, or 24 votes, is needed to override the veto.