Energy & Environment
Terry is committed to environmental policies that keep our air and water clean, promote public health and move Maine towards energy independence.
TERRY’S PLAN TO PROTECT MAINE’S ENVIRONMENT AND GROW RENEWABLE ENERGY
We need to lead with our assets and chief among them is our natural environment. We have what people want right here in Maine. Protecting Maine’s environment and creating opportunities for renewable energy will be important components of a long-term, non-partisan, comprehensive, statewide economic development plan for Maine that is developed during the first year of the Hayes Administration.
As a lifelong Mainer who grew up camping, and canoeing, Terry is committed to environmental policies that keep our air and water clean, promote public health and move Maine towards energy independence. She believes that protecting Maine’s environment — our land, water and air — is a moral responsibility and that climate change is among our greatest challenges.
Today, Mainers are among the most vulnerable to spiking foreign energy costs, as we are among the most dependent in the country on oil for home heating and gasoline powered vehicles.
Our natural surroundings are the very soul of Maine, and Maine’s economy and Maine’s future are tied directly to a clean environment. Refocusing on the stewardship of our environment will be a key element of the Hayes Administration. Among Terry’s core principles are:
- Acknowledge Climate Change. Climate change is real and it is the greatest environmental challenge of our time. Just ask our lobstermen and lobsterwomen (a half-billion dollar industry), those who harvest wildlife shellfish, and others whose livelihoods depend on the quality and temperature of our waters in the Gulf of Maine. Climate change and ocean acidification portend massive and adverse effects on our public health and our way of life. As the next governor of Maine, Terry will exercise informed leadership to limit and mitigate these negative impacts and to vigorously protect our natural assets.
- Promote Diversification of Maine’s Renewable Energy Portfolio. A Hayes Administration will work to increase renewable energy capacity, protect and develop export markets for Maine’s renewable energy production, and advance the development of solar, wind and tidal generation of electricity in ways that are cost effective and consistent with the protection of Maine’s environmental assets. Her intent is to do this without tipping the scales or creating shortcuts for one strategy over another, and especially focused on ways that benefit Maine ratepayers, public and private. We need more renewables - and they must be sited properly – so that Maine can reduce reliance on the use of foreign produced fossil fuels, lower energy prices, and address climate change and air pollution.
- Encourage Energy Efficiency. The cheapest kilowatt of power is the one that is not used. We need to redouble Maine’s efforts at improving energy efficiency and energy conservation. Energy is a significant cost for most manufacturing businesses and its high cost makes it harder for our businesses to compete in the global marketplace.
- Bring All Voices to the Table to Protect our Sustainable Natural Resources. Terry believes sustainable natural resources are critical to Maine’s future growth and prosperity. They represent a key competitive advantage we have over other states and the best hope for creating jobs and reviving our economy. That’s why we need to make sure all voices, in all parts of Maine, are heard when it comes to environmental and conservation policies, including the voices of those Mainers who work in the traditional industries of farming, fishing, and forestry, and those who have traditionally enjoyed access to Maine’s land for hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and other forms of recreation.
Tackle Climate Change
Maine needs a statewide, coordinated plan to reduce the risks posed by climate change and to help prepare Maine residents, communities and businesses to manage those risks. The Legislature recently approved, with strong bipartisan support the establishment of a Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission, similar to New Hampshire, to specifically address the risks posed to coastal communities and state assets. The bill was vetoed by Governor LePage, putting Maine’s natural environment and some of our most vital industries — fishing, coastal tourism, and recreation at further risk. As member of the Maine House, Terry voted to implement a statewide plan on climate change; as Governor she will support the establishment of a Coastal Risks and Hazards Commission and work to mitigate the risks and prepare for the unavoidable effects of climate change.
As Governor, Terry will also call for Maine to join 14 other states and Puerto Rico to uphold the international climate accord signed in Paris by all but two of the world’s nations. Further, the Hayes Administration will join our Senators and Representatives to fight drilling off the coast of Maine.
In 2007, Terry supported the establishment of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a market-based effort among nine Northeast states to reduce climate-changing carbon pollution from power plants and to spur money-saving investments in energy efficiency and clean energy. The evidence is clear that RGGI’s existing framework is working to cut power sector carbon dioxide emissions and helping fund the efforts of Efficiency Maine.
Between 2012 and 2017, Efficiency Maine used $54 million in RGGI funds to leverage $88 million in private investment and achieve $277 million in energy savings for Maine homes and businesses. As governor, Terry will continue to look for regional and nonpartisan collaboration opportunities among our neighbors to curtail air pollution and protect our health.
Support Renewable Energy:
Terry is a results-driven, collaborative leader that welcomes investment in clean energy businesses and seeks savings for ratepayers. She will work with Maine’s research, educational and community leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, and advocacy groups to develop a state energy plan that will complement and support our long term economic development strategy by encouraging investment and job creation in the renewable energy sector – a sector with enormous potential to grow our economy and add value in the years ahead.
Terry will work to find the intersections of interest that can serve as starting points for moving forward collaboratively. In 2016, Governor LePage vetoed LD 1649, a bipartisan solution to leveraging Maine’s abundant supply of solar energy. While not perfect, it was lauded by the Public Advocate as an important step toward a “technology neutral platform” that will eventually allow “small scale distributed resources, like solar PV, energy storage, combined heat and power, to participate and compete - side by side in the region’s electricity markets.” LD 1649 was hammered out between diverse stakeholder groups including Maine solar businesses and the Public Advocate, and was supported by the Environmental Priorities Coalition, Central Maine Power, Emera Power, the Maine Municipal Association, and the Conservation Law Foundation. Governor Hayes will participate and promote similar opportunities during her administration.
Terry shares rational concerns about how and where generation and transmission facilities are sited, about their noise, wilderness and view-shed impacts, and about their effects on wildlife and habitat. We need to work together to strike the right balance between meeting our energy needs with renewables and protecting what is unique about Maine. By respecting all who are willing to share in this work, we can find and maintain that balance.
The Hayes Administration will also turn its attention to the transportation sector. It is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions nationally and in Maine. Terry will look for market-based incentives to increase the number of zero-emission vehicles in use, and adopt shared standards for a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Reduce Mainers’ Energy Bills Through A Bridge to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Natural Gas as a Bridge Fuel: Maine needs to move as quickly as possible away from fuels that have unstable pricing and that damage Maine’s environment and move toward energy sources with more stable operating costs and much lower collateral costs. During that transition, Maine needs access to more natural gas as a bridge fuel, but in ways that don't leave us stuck on the bridge.
Natural gas is a lower-cost bridge fuel between higher carbon fossil fuels and cleaner renewable energy sources that will help more Maine communities attract and maintain businesses.
In 2013, as a member of the Maine House, Terry supported the Omnibus Energy Bill, a state initiative to lower energy costs and protect the environment by boosting the region’s natural gas supply and increasing funding for energy-efficiency efforts. The Energy Bill provided the PUC with the authority, until December 31, 2018, to enter into a contract for new interstate pipeline capacity, should they determine it was in the best interest of Maine ratepayers and gas users. Under Terry’s Administration, Maine will continue to work with other New England states to find a regional solution as part of the recently granted two-year extension of the PUC’s authority.
Alternatively, we must continue to look at tapping into Canada’s vast hydropower resources, to meet Maine’s demand without sacrificing our natural landscape.
Efficiency is the Cheapest Energy Source. Not only is the cheapest kilowatt of power is the one that is not used but about 8,850 Maine residents worked in energy efficiency related jobs in 2016, says E4 the Future. According to the American Council for and Energy-Efficient Economy, Maine ranks 16th nationally but we can do better by:
- Redoubling Maine’s efforts at conservation and energy efficiency, starting with a comprehensive review of existing programs and incentives, including smart grid technologies, new rate structure designs and diversified energy sources for Maine homes and businesses.
- Expanding access to broadband to allow for the implementation of smart grid technology including the more efficient transmission of electricity, integration of smart meters, reduction of peak demand and more consumer choice.
- Increasing assistance to less affluent Mainers who can’t afford to respond to market signals by weatherizing their homes, switching their fuels or improving their heating technologies.
- Collaborating with Maine communities to combat sprawl through better coordination of state transportation policies and local smart growth policies.
- Supporting businesses and research institutions to develop technologies that will transform how we produce and save energy (including the integration of distributed generation and the development of energy storage) — not just here in Maine, but around the world. Over the 2006-16 period alone, the 10 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in Maine (all in energy and paper) cut their emissions by 46 percent thanks largely to new technologies.
Conserve Maine’s Natural Places
Appreciation of Maine’s natural places is central to Terry’s love for Maine and tourists’ desire to visit here. Sustainable natural resources are critical to Maine’s future growth and prosperity. They represent our key competitive advantages over other states and an important foundation for jobs and economic growth.
We must invest in those resources and find ways to add value to them. As we have done so many times in the past, Terry believes we can find and strike a balance between protecting our most special wilderness areas, encouraging sustainable wood harvesting, and supporting recreation and other traditional uses throughout our vast forest lands. To preserve Maine’s legacy and conserve our natural resources, the Hayes Administration will focus on the following three priorities:
Bolster State Level Resources: If our environmental assets are to continue to be one of our competitive advantages from wildlife watching and hunting and fishing to logging and lobstering, we must rebuild, restore and reinvigorate:
- the integrity of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection so that it once again will have the staffing levels, competence, expertise leadership it needs to help Maine residents and businesses protect our environmental quality and public health; and
- Maine’s conservation programs so that we can continue to protect Maine’s forests, marine and critical habitats from development while some remain sustainably managed working forests, farms and waterfronts.
Appoint Strong Leaders: As an Independent and a Clean Elections candidate, Terry will not be obligated to make her choices to lead the DEP, the DIFW or other agencies based on party affiliation or returning political favors to special interest groups. She will reach out to a variety of stakeholders with expertise and will make decisions based on how well the person will do the job for all Mainers. This includes appointing strong commissioners, deputies and bureau directors to work to ensure Maine’s conservation ethic is consistent throughout state government.