Paul LePage on Energy & Oil
The state's electricity costs are holding back job creation and the economy, LePage says. But supporters of current policy say that the advantages-- in both capital investment and jobs--of supporting a burgeoning renewable-power industry far outstrip any disadvantages of slightly higher-priced power.
The LePage administration has a multi-pronged strategy for lowering energy rates, including finding ways to increase the inflow of natural gas. Helping to build a natural gas pipeline to increase supplies to New England while developing long-term contracts for lower-priced Canadian power are key objectives, a spokesperson said.
The comments were similar to points made by Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in May at an international trade conference in South Portland. Grimsson said the polar shipping route would shorten the trip between China and Europe by 40% to 50%. Maine could be part of the route because, earlier this year, Icelandic shipping company Eimskip made Portland its only US port of call.
"I think with Eimskip coming to Maine, with all the good things happening--it used to be global warming; I think they call it climate change now--but there are a lot of opportunities that are developing," LePage said.
Mike Michaud criticized the comment, claiming LePage was ignoring the negative effects of climate change.
No Climate Tax Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my state, and to the American people, that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue."
Sponsoring organizations: Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEU); National Taxpayers Union (NTU); Institute for Liberty Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen-leaders committed to advancing every individual's right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and intrusiveness of government is the best way to promote individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans.
Congressional Summary:Amends the Internal Revenue Code to extend through 2016 the tax credit for electricity produced from wind, biomass, geothermal or solar energy, landfill gas, trash, hydropower, and marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.
Proponent's Comments (Governor's Wind Energy Coalition letter of Nov. 15, 2011 signed by 23 governors):Although the tax credit for wind energy has long enjoyed bipartisan support, it is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2012. Wind-related manufacturing is beginning to slow in our states because the credit has not yet been extended. If Congress pursues a last minute approach to the extension, the anticipated interruption of the credit's benefits will result in a significant loss of high-paying jobs in a growing sector of the economy. We strongly urge Congress to adopt a more consistent and longer-term federal tax policy to support wind energy development, such as H.R. 3307.
The leading wind project developers and manufacturers are slowing their plans for 2013 and beyond due to the current uncertainty. The ripple effect of this slow down means reduced orders for turbines and decreased business for the hundreds of manufacturers who have entered the wind industry in our states. When Congress allowed the tax credit to expire in 1999, 2001, and 2003, the development of new wind installations dropped significantly, between 73% and 93%, and thousands of jobs were lost. Providing renewable energy tax credits in order to provide consistency with conventional energy tax credits is the right policy to move the nation forward in an energy sector that offers global export opportunities and the ability to modernize a segment of our electric production infrastructure.
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