Possibly the Most Important Bill This Session: LD 1085

Maine needs a clean energy economy. A feed-in tariff is arguably the best way to get there.

With a feed-in tariff, you will be able to afford solar. In fact, when you install solar you’ll be guaranteed to make money. Countries that have adopted a feed-in tariff have had to scale back because too much solar is being installed.

On Wednesday, April 24 at 1:00 pm in Room 211 of the Burton M. Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall St in Augusta, the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 1085, “An Act To Establish the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff.”

You should attend.

If you want a better future for you and your children, testify in support of this bill. Come in person to the hearing, or give written testimony to a friend who can read it on your behalf.

Nervous about testifying? Check out “Testify with Confidence” on the Secretary of State’s web page.

If I haven’t yet convinced you that this bill is really, really important, consider this:

  • a feed-in tariff is simple: you get the right to feed clean energy into the public electricity grid and earn a guaranteed, fair return on your investment
  • a feed-in tariff is an industrial policy to upgrade infrastructure and create good jobs: we’ll all have an economic incentive to install solar panels on every sunny roof, over every sunny parking lot, and in every sunny vacant lot
  • a feed-in tariff is a proven public policy that has allowed Germany in ten years to grow its solar industry from virtually nothing to powering more than half its summer electricity demand
  • facing the daunting task of replacing much of its nuclear power, Japan recently adopted a feed-in tariff, recognizing that it is the best policy to get the job done in short order
  • a feed-in tariff distributes capital and power generation so the little guy gets a fair piece of the energy pie
  • studies show that Maine can generate all of its energy needs from solar power; a feed-in tariff makes this not only physically possible but economically realistic
  • most of the money spent on fossil fuel leaves Maine’s economy; most of the money spent on a feed-in tariff will stay and circulate in Maine
  • burning home heating oil produces small particulates that are a major health risk; heating your home with a super-efficient electric heat pump powered by clean solar energy produces no pollution
  • you can now buy an electric car that gets the equivalent of 100 miles to the gallon in fuel economy, has a top speed of over 80 miles per hour, and costs less than $30,000; these cars are a great way to store and use solar energy

I won’t even mention climate change. Our scientists may be alarmist when they say we are running a global chemistry experiment with potentially catastrophic consequences. Maybe the scientists at MIT were kidding when they reported that we’re on track to get to 800 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the end of the century, on track to making the ocean so acidic that all of our coral reefs will dissolve.

I don’t have to mention climate change because we can clean up our energy supply. We can stop burning fossil fuel. We can work together with people who don’t share our political views. A feed-in tariff is a first step to make that happen.

All it takes is for a few good people to stand up and make a difference when it really counts.

Now is the time.

Or rather, April 24th at 1:00 pm is the time. Cross Building Room 211 is the place.

Will you be with us?

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