Maine

MAINE

Home to a population of 1,354,522, Maine remains one of the least populated states in the nation. However, what it lacks in population, it makes up in size. Maine has a total area of approximately 33,215 square miles, almost as large as all of the other New England states combined. Maine is rightly called the Pine Tree State. With deciduous forests in the south and boreal forests in the north, 90% of Maine’s land is tree-covered. Though it’s usually thought of for its lobsters, Maine actually supplies 99% of the nation’s blueberries!  Maine is getting warmer —fast. Temperatures in the state have been steadily rising since records began in 1890. However, more recently, the warming has been speeding up. Since 1960 Maine has been warming at nearly twice the rate. Warming is also associated with shorter winters.

Maine is also getting wetter with precipitation increasing by 15% since 1895, coming in the form of more rain and less snow. Added to extreme weather events, especially along Maine’s coast, runoffs are accelerating to streams and rivers, which impact drinking water. Flooding, wind, and other consequences of this weather cause significant damage to roads, bridges, and properties. A good example of this is the storm in October 2017, the worst in Maine’s history. During that storm, almost a half million people lost  electricity due to damaged power lines which ultimately cost $69 million dollars.

Maine’s shorter winters and more extreme rain events are associated with greater tick and mosquito activity and abundance. With more of these insects come more insect-transmitted disease not just affecting humans, but also harming  populations of endangered species such as Maine moose. Rising sea levels are also challenging Maine. The Gulf of Maine is especially susceptible to fluctuations in sea level due to alterations in the strength of the Gulf Stream and seasonal wind patterns. For example, in Portland, the city with the longest records, the edge of the water has risen 7.5 inches since record-keeping began in 1912. High sealines mean more coastal flooding, which is threatening an estimated 198 miles of Maine roadway and more than 1,200 homes. Tidal flooding caused by sea level rise already has eroded $70 million in coastal real estate value within the state. The risk of storm surge extends many miles inland from the immediate coastline in some areas. More than 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from outside high-risk areas, and even people living in “low risk” areas have been advised to obtain flood insurance.

In June of 2019, Maine passed three pieces of major climate legislation that focus on renewable energy, clean energy jobs, and the general fight against climate change. The bills established the Maine Climate Council, which is charged with reducing the state greenhouse gas emissions by 45% below 1990 levels by 2030, and by 80% by 2050. The Council will also tackle Maine’s energy portfolio makeup with a goal of 100% renewable energy usage by 2050. Along with these hefty objectives, the Council is responsible for the creation of incentives for energy-efficient heating and use of solar panels, as well as the creation of more climate-friendly jobs. The bills gave Maine one of the most ambitious renewable portfolio standard programs in the country.

Before these three bills, Maine had already passed laws to increase the number of electric vehicles, establish goals for the installation of 100,000 energy-efficient heat pumps in homes and businesses state-wide, build an off-shore wind farm, create a Commission to review and evaluate the benefits of energy storage and make policy suggestions for Maine, support the creation and use of clean energy technologies, prepare for the effects of sea level rise, and provide tax clarity for renewable energy facilities.

Maine is well on its way to its 2019 renewable energy goals. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 80% of Maine’s in-state electricity net generation came from renewable resources in 2019. The state’s energy is approximately 30% hydroelectric, 25% biomass, and almost 25% wind. Although Maine’s energy consumption is only 25% wind, Maine produces two-thirds of all the wind power used in New England. Around 16% of the rest of Maine’s energy comes from natural gas. Maine’s tree cover is what makes it a national leader in biofuels, deriving a lot of its bioenergy from its forests. Solar, petroleum, and coal power make up 2% of Maine’s energy, and the last 3% comes from facilities that primarily burn black liquor waste from pulp mills or municipal and other solid waste materials.

The weather in Maine varies significantly across the state with temperatures that range from the triple digits in the south during the summer to minus 50°F in the far north in winter. For this reason, Maine uses a lot of energy heating and cooling. Heating needs during the frigid winters, along with the energy consumption in the state’s transportation and industrial sectors, give Maine the highest per capita energy use in New England.
From an electricity perspective, Maine’s residential sector accounts for two fifths of all energy consumed in the state, the industrial sector one fourth, and the commercial sector one third.

In what environmental advocates called an important step forward for climate justice, Maine became, in June 2021, the first state to commit through legislation to divest from fossil fuel companies after Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 99, into law directing the $17 billion Maine Public Employee Retirement System to divest $1.3 billion from fossil fuels within five years” and directs the state treasurer to “do the same with other state funds.” The bill was amended to grant the retirement system some flexibility in pursuing a gradual divestment from fossil fuels. “It lines up with our Climate Council work and bipartisan emission reduction goals set by the governor and the legislature,” Representative Margaret O’Neil added, referring to the state’s action plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050.

Maine is one of twenty-four states, plus Puerto Rico, participating in the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

CURRENT NEWS

Battery Storage for Fossil-Fueled Peaker Plant Replacement: A Maine Case Study

04/11/24
Across the country, more than a thousand fossil fuel burning peaker power plants sit idle, waiting to be called upon by electricity grid operators. These plants are designed to fire up quickly in response to…
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Maine board rejects proposed electric vehicle rules

By Susan Cover 03/20/24
A state panel on Wednesday rejected controversial rules that would have required vehicle manufacturers to send increasing numbers of electric vehicles to Maine in hopes of meeting climate goals.
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Why Mainers Are Falling Hard for Heat Pumps

By Cara Buckley 03/08/24
It may have been a warmer than usual winter in Maine, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t gotten mighty cold. In mid-January in Farmingdale, a town outside Augusta where Kaylie McLaughlin lives, the temperature dipped…
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Governor Mills Announces Sears Island as Preferred Site for Port to Support Floating Offshore Wind

02/20/24
Governor Janet Mills today announced that the State of Maine has selected a section of state-owned Sears Island that is reserved for port development as its preferred site for a port facility to support the…
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It’s time for Northeast to prep for floods like those that hit this winter. Climate change is why

By Patrick Whittle 02/15/24
After back-to-back storms lashed the Northeast in January, rental properties Haim Levy owns in coastal Hampton, New Hampshire, were hammered by nearly two feet of water, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage…
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In a Victory for Poland Spring, Maine Rejects New Groundwater Limits

By Hiroko Tabuchi 02/09/24
Maine’s Legislature voted down a bill that would have limited large-scale pumping of groundwater in the state. Poland Spring, the bottled-water giant, had lobbied aggressively against the measure.
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Maine lawmakers call for global treaty to curb fossil fuel use, slow climate change

By Rachel Ohm 01/18/24
A divided Maine House voted Thursday to call on the federal government to slow climate change by joining a global treaty to curb fossil fuel use.
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New England storm aftermath: Shoreline flooding, evacuations, and washed-out roads

By Emily Sweeney and others 01/10/24
A pounding rainstorm that lashed the region overnight caused extensive flooding along the coast Wednesday, washing out roads, engulfing vehicles, and forcing evacuations in Rhode Island and Hampton, N.H. The storm dropped several inches of…
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Years-long campaign for consumer-owned utility defeated after deluge of opposition spending

By Evan Popp 11/08/23
A referendum to replace Central Maine Power and Versant with a consumer-owned utility was voted down Tuesday after a deluge of advertisements and spending against the measure, ending a multi-year, nationally-watched campaign that would have…
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Why It’s So Hard to Break Up With Your Utility

By Alana Semuel 11/08/23
You might be hard-pressed to find anyone who actually likes their power company; rates just keep going up even as many utilities drag their feet on allowing renewable energy projects to connect to the grid.…
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Maine considers electrifying proposal that would give the boot to corporate electric utilities

By David Sharp 11/05/23
Taking a page from the “throw-the-bums-out” script in politics, Mainers are poised to vote on an unprecedented plan to rid themselves of the state’s two largest electric utilities and start with a clean slate.
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Growing U.S. anger with electric utilities finds its epicenter in Maine

By Evan Halper 11/04/23
Last December, Ellen McCurley was settling into a calm new life, savoring sunsets from the porch of a modest riverfront home with her dogs Sadie and Maisie, when a notice from the electric company turned…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

Maine’s Climate Progress at Stake in Contentious Utility Takeover Vote

10/26/23
Maine residents are set to vote in November on whether the state should replace two investor-owned utilities with a new non-profit power company—with wide-reaching implications for consumer electricity bills and Maine’s climate fight. ...

Pingree Welcomes More Than $3.5 Million for Environmental Justice Projects in Communities Across Maine

10/25/23
Today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), ranking member of the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee which oversees funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), announced more than $3.5 million to fund six…

BOEM unveils draft Gulf of Maine wind energy area

10/20/23
The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today identified a Draft Wind Energy Area (WEA) in the Gulf of Maine with a potential capacity of more than 40GW, opening a 30-day public review and…

Mills administration awards $2.4 million to 53 Maine communities for climate change initiatives

09/30/23
The Mills administration announced today 2.4 million dollars in awards to 53 communities across Maine to address climate change.

Maine Voices: Pine Tree Power is key to addressing climate change, lowering electric rates

09/27/23
Pine Tree Power, like other municipal and cooperative electric utilities here and across the country, would exist to serve Maine people. Pine Tree Power would invest in renewable energy, increased reliability and improved customer service,…

Unions Fight in the States to Make Biden’s Climate Agenda Work for Workers

09/20/23
President Biden’s labor and environmental goals are colliding in the auto industry, where concerns over the electric vehicle transition underpin an autoworkers strike. But in states like Maine, unions and environmental groups have teamed up…

Demand is growing for green energy workforce in the region

08/31/23
Maine state leaders have some ambitious goals when it comes to what can be done in the state to save the planet, but in order to meet those goals the green energy workforce is in…

Maine Gov. Janet Mills on the state’s use of federal funding to combat climate change

08/13/23
Wednesday marks one year since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. A big chunk of the massive spending bill targets climate change. To understand how the federal money helps the green transition,…

NSF awards $6M for Maine-led project to develop secure electric grids in communities disproportionately impacted by climate change

08/07/23
A new collaborative research project led by the University of Maine called STORM: Data-Driven Approaches for Secure Electric Grids in Communities Disproportionately Impacted by Climate Change, has been awarded $6 million from the National Science…

Maine State Legislature approves plan to deploy floating offshore wind turbines

07/26/23
The Maine State Legislature has approved a comprehensive plan to develop offshore wind during the next two decades, enacting the legislation early Wednesday morning , with dual goals of reducing earth-warming carbon dioxide emissions caused…

After Maine Surpasses 100,000 Heat Pump Goal Two Years Ahead of Schedule, Governor Mills Sets New, Ambitious Target

07/21/23
Governor Janet Mills today announced that Maine has – two years ahead of time – surpassed its goal of installing 100,000 new heat pumps by 2025, a milestone that represents significant progress in reducing Maine’s…

Developers considering Mason Station project

07/19/23
Two southern Maine renewable energy developers think Mason Station in Wiscasset is a great location for their next project. Ryan Gahagan of Treadwood, LLC of Portland and Aaron Svedlow of North Light Energy of Falmouth…

What You Should Know about Maine’s Solar Success

05/24/23
Solar energy in Maine has grown seven-fold in the last few years. This tremendous growth has saved towns and school districts money on their electric bills. It has supplied Maine businesses with more affordable electricity.…

Maine is far from its goal for renewable energy battery storage

05/17/23
Maine is in the early stages of developing battery storage for excess renewable energy, but it will need more storage capacity as the state transitions to clean energy to meet statutory climate goals, energy policy…

Trial begins over reviving Maine energy corridor project defeated in 2021 referendum

05/12/23
A long-awaited civil trial over possibly reviving New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), a proposed 145-mile electricity transmission corridor through the Maine woods that Maine voters rejected two years ago, is underway.

Maine is making rapid progress on clean energy

04/24/23
Seventeen years seems like an awfully long time. But as the mom of an 11, 6 and 3 year old, I know that though that length of time will sometimes feel interminable, it will surely…

Tapping the power of the sea: Company to begin testing tidal systems again

03/25/23
After being dormant in its tidal power operations in the Cobscook Bay area for a decade, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) is gearing up to again begin testing commercially viable turbine generator units off Eastport…

Renewable energy projects risk overwhelming Maine grid

03/23/23
Maine has seen a surge in proposed community solar farms, but they are encountering a serious obstacle: an aging grid that requires expensive upgrades to connect more sources of power to New England homes and…

Winds of Change, Pt. 1: How offshore wind will impact Maine’s economy, energy

03/22/23
Offshore wind is coming to the Gulf of Maine. It’s part of a push from state and federal government to develop renewable energy. But how soon will the wind hit the water - and how…

Lawmakers take up renewable energy project proposed for Aroostook County

03/22/23
State lawmakers are being asked to approve a nearly $2 billion energy project that would connect Aroostook County to the New England power grid. But some skeptics aren't ready to sign off.

From hotels to Hannaford: Maine businesses working to improve energy efficiency

03/09/23
When it comes to climate change, the old environmentalist motto applies: "Think globally, act locally.” In that spirit, Maine businesses, large and small, are trying to improve their energy efficiency.

Maine woods could store more carbon at current harvest with ‘climate smart’ forestry, study finds

03/06/23
Maine forests already absorb about 70% of the state's annual fossil fuel emissions. Now, a new study shows that Maine's commercial forest landowners could increase annual carbon storage by at least 20% over the next…

TRC Companies Assisting LS Power Grid Maine with New Transmission Project in Maine

03/02/23
Today TRC Companies announces its role as a consultant in supporting the new transmission project by LS Power Grid Maine. The proposed transmission solution will deliver renewable energy from Aroostook County, Maine into the existing…

The U.S. Has Billions for Wind and Solar Projects. Good Luck Plugging Them In

By Brad Plumer 02/23/23
Plans to install 3,000 acres of solar panels in Kentucky and Virginia are delayed for years. Wind farms in Minnesota and North Dakota have been abruptly canceled. And programs to encourage Massachusetts and Maine residents…

Maine Gov. Janet Mills promotes offshore wind energy roadmap

02/23/23
Maine Governor Janet Mills is touting her offshore wind “roadmap” for Maine, released on Thursday. Mills described the plan to a virtual wind energy summit organized by the Biden administration.

Vermont Joins Multi-State Effort to Create Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub in Northeast

02/09/23
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced Vermont has signed on to a multi-state agreement, joining with New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Rhode Island, to develop a proposal to become one of up to…

Wind energy efforts in Gulf of Maine pick up steam

02/09/23
Stakeholders across Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), are inching closer to developing offshore wind energy in the Gulf of Maine.

Developer wants to create housing and thousands of jobs at former Loring base

02/08/23
A Maine-based development corporation wants to launch the first major overhaul of the former Loring Air Force Base since the 1990s.

Texas Lege Looks to Address Flooding and Drought Without Saying “Climate Change”

02/03/23
Water – who's got it, who doesn't, and will any of it be left in 30 years – is already top of mind for Texans. Reservoirs are drying up, six boil water notices are issued…

But It’s Not A Dry Heat, Actually

02/01/23
Texans have a complicated relationship with the heat. We complain about it all the time, but we also take a certain satisfaction in our suffering. Of course, the increasingly scorching summers are getting more and…

Renewable energy corridor to northern Maine clears hurdle with OK from state commission

01/31/23
A major renewable energy project in Aroostook County got a boost Tuesday, as Maine's Public Utilities Commission concluded that it's in the public interest. The wind farm and transmission line are driven by Maine's climate…

Thanks To Climate Change, February Is Now The Cruelest Month

01/29/23
Early winter has been warming across North America, but late winter is another story. Scientists have documented a cooling trend over more than 40 Februaries, marked by dangerous and increasingly common intrusions of Arctic air…

Federal Climate & Energy Issues

01/25/23
From our lakeshores to the ocean coastline, the impacts of climate change are already being felt in Maine’s communities and the high costs of oil and gas hitting Mainers’ pocketbooks.

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management holds a public feedback session on Gulf of Maine wind energy plans

01/20/23
“There are floating wind installations in Europe that have kind of led the way, and we're certainly looking to them for the example that they've brought, but it would be groundbreaking in the United States,"…

Texas study blames climate change for driving up food prices

01/16/23
The price of food is on the rise, and one reason is climate change. A new report from the Texas Department of Agriculture points to a warming planet for harming farming and ranching.

Solar program aims to cut energy costs for lower-income Rhode Island residents

01/10/23
The New England state recently issued a request for proposals from solar companies to partner on a program that will lease and install solar equipment on homes owned by low- to moderate-income residents. Solar program…

New England states poised to capitalize on new federal climate law incentives

10/24/22
Years of work crafting climate and clean energy plans have left New England states in a prime position to take advantage of renewable energy incentives in the historic climate bill enacted by Congress over the…

Maine won’t wait one-year progress report December 1, 2021

12/01/21
Last year, Maine Won’t Wait was unveiled with a spirit of urgency, but also some uncertainty. While the plan for climate action was rooted in the most detailed scientific assessment of Maine in years, and…

For Climate Week, Governor Mills Celebrates Maine’s Progress Toward Installing 100,000 Heat Pumps by 2025

09/24/21
Dover-Foxcroft, MAINE – During a visit to Dave’s World in Dover-Foxcroft today, Governor Janet Mills announced that more than 28,000 high-efficiency heat pumps have been installed in Maine buildings over the past year, marking a…

Maine Audubon releases renewable energy guidance tools

By BDN Community 09/18/21
With the tremendous opportunities provided by solar and wind energy come potential conflicts with Maine’s wildlife and wildlife habitat. Maine Audubon is committed to striking a balance between new renewable energy development and natural resource…

New program in Portland pushes use of renewable energy

By Chloe Teboe 09/16/21
The new 'Electrify Everything!' program is designed to offer competitive prices for things like solar panels, heat pumps, chargers, etc. to Portland residents.

Collins, Pingree, Golden Announce Nearly $5M in Federal Funding Awarded to Maine Energy Company

09/13/21
Today, Maine’s U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Jared Golden (ME-02) welcomed news from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that Yarmouth-based Summit Natural Gas will be receiving a portion of…

Grants awarded for farm robots, energy storage in Maine

08/30/21
A pair of companies in Biddeford and Wiscasset have each received $250,000 grants through the Maine Clean Energy Innovation Challenge.

130th Maine Legislature, First Special Session

07/01/21
An Act To Require Consideration of Climate Impacts by the Public Utilities Commission and To Incorporate Equity Considerations in Decision Making by State Agencies

130th Maine Legislature, First Special Session

07/01/21
An Act To Require the State To Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry

Climate Action in Portland, Maine

04/12/19
The City of Portland has committed to reducing community wide greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050 and transitioning to 100% clean energy for municipal operations by 2040. In addition, the City will need to prepare…

A Climate Action Plan for Maine

04/10/19
Enacted in 2003, Maine's Public Law 237 required the state's Department of Environmental Protection to develop and submit this Climate Action Plan. The CAP includes plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by…

KEY RESOURCES

Climate Driven

01/30/23
The next decade is a critical time for the planet. Scientists say there will need to be a rapid, transformational shift away from fossil fuels to renewable energy to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees…

Maine Solar Panels: Pricing and Incentives

02/02/22
Despite being an early adopter of solar policies, Maine still lags behind much of the country in terms of solar power. The good news is that homeowners in Maine can still save money by investing…

Maine State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/02/21
Maine is the nation's easternmost state. It rises from a jagged Atlantic coastline in the east to the highest point in Maine at Mount Katahdin in the center of the state.1 Although the state has…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC)

10/06/20
The New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) will save Maine consumers millions of dollars each year by harnessing Canadian hydropower and transmitting clean energy into the New England grid.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Maine

09/19/20
In 2018, Maine experienced one winter storm. The damages of the event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Maine’s Climate Future: 2020 Update

08/08/20
Climate change is a global phenomenon, and its effects in Maine must be under-stood in the context of changes taking place throughout the world.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Maine

07/31/20
Maine is vulnerable to increasing temperatures, ocean acidification and the spread of Lyme disease. Maine’s climate has already warmed by about three degrees Fahrenheit in the last century. Increasing temperatures are causing spring to arrive…

Efficiency Maine

01/20/20
Renewable Energy Solutions.

Governor’s Energy Office

01/20/20
Efficiency Maine Trust was created to: Consolidate under one roof the funds for Maine's consumer efficiency programs for all fuel types - electric, natural gas, and heating oil - together with consumer alternative energy programs;…

RESOURCES – MAINE RENEWABLE ENERGY ASSOCIATION

01/20/20
The Maine Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a not-for-profit association of renewable energy producers, suppliers of goods and services to those producers, and other supporters of this industry.

Natural Resources Council of Maine

01/20/20
Currently, Maine gets three-quarters of our electricity from dirty energy sources like coal, natural gas, and other fossil fuels, as well as nuclear. Increasing energy efficiency and the amount of energy that we get from…

Maine Renewable Energy Association

01/20/20
MREA delivers a strong, persistent voice for renewable energy in Maine.

MORE NEWS

Amid winter freezes, this state has found a new, budget-friendly way to heat its homes: ‘It sure is a whole lot cheaper’

By Laurelle Stelle   11/01/23  
In Maine, an association of dirty energy-based heating companies is campaigning against electric heat pumps — but residents are making the switch anyway, according to the Washington Post.
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A ‘whole way of life’ at risk as warming waters change Maine’s lobster fishing

By Trevor Hughes   10/30/23  
ABOARD THE FISHING VESSEL SHEARWATER ‒ Lobsterwoman Krista Tripp doesn't need a scientist to tell her the normally cold waters off the coast of Maine are warming. The submersible thermometer she takes on every fishing…
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Climb aboard four fishing boats with us to see how America’s warming waters are changing

By Trevor Hughes   10/30/23  
Alaskan fisherman Garrett Kavanaugh anxiously awaits the first catch of the season, hoping the Dungeness crabs he's chasing haven't suffered the same fate as the vanished snow crabs.
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El Niño and climate change shake up CT’s winter outlook

By Michayla Savitt   10/27/23  
A new seasonal outlook shows southern New England could have an unseasonable winter, with federal forecasters predicting that temperatures and precipitation levels are “leaning above'' normal for the region.
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Inside Poland Spring’s Hidden Attack on Water Rules It Didn’t Like

By Hiroko Tabuchi   10/24/23  
When Maine lawmakers tried to rein in large-scale access to the state’s freshwater this year, the effort initially gained momentum. The state had just emerged from drought, and many Mainers were sympathetic to protecting their…
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Future of Maine’s natural wildlife at risk because of climate change

By Jason Nappi   10/16/23  
Many people know our state for its natural beauty and the animals that call it home, but concerns about the future of those homes are growing.
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Climate change is helping invasive plants spread through Maine’s waterways

By Charlie Eichacker   10/12/23  
It’s a chilly morning in Winthrop. But that’s not stopping a group of divers that’s taken a motor boat to the center of Cobbossee Lake, a nine-mile stretch of water just outside Augusta.
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How Maine Became the Heat Pump Capital of the US

By Todd Woody   10/06/23  
Best known for its scenic lighthouses and fresh lobster, Maine can now make another claim to fame: It’s installing energy-efficient electric heat pumps and heat pump water heaters at a pace unmatched by any other…
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A battle rages in Maine over an election that some say could change the course of climate action

By Sabrina Shankman and Aruni Soni   10/02/23  
It’s noon on a Sunday, so Lucy Hochschartner is where she often is these days: hoofing around Portland’s winding neighborhoods, knocking on doors. With her blond ponytail swinging behind her and armed with an iPhone…
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After Lee’s Landfall, Thousands Are Without Power in U.S. and Canada

By Jenna Russell and Meagan Campbell   09/16/23  
The storm known as Lee, still a dangerous post-tropical cyclone, made landfall in Canada Saturday, packing powerful winds in Nova Scotia and in coastal Maine that toppled trees, killing at least one person and knocking…
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Maine lobstermen are getting into the seaweed business as climate change threatens the catch

By Diana Olick   09/07/23  
Lobsters have long been a staple of the Maine economy, worth roughly $388 million last year alone, but climate change is putting the catch at risk. Now lobstermen and women, along with local entrepreneurs, are…
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Maine’s puffin colonies recovering in the face of climate change

By Patrick Whittle   08/29/23  
Atlantic puffins — clownish seabirds with colorful bills and waddling gaits — had their second consecutive rebound year for fledging chicks after suffering a catastrophic 2021, said scientists who monitor the birds. The news flies…
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Whether it’s art, science or math, a new Maine climate change website gives teachers ideas

By Susan Cover   08/22/23  
High school science teacher Melissa Luetje started focusing more intently on climate change education about five years ago.
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New tools to teach climate change in Maine schools

By Annie Ropeik   08/20/23  
In English, you learn about the difference between facts and opinions and practice these media literacy skills on statements about climate science and policy. Or you might analyze a poem about climate change — like…
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As the Gulf of Maine warms, where are the mussels?

By Sabrina Shankman   08/19/23  
A 2017 study found that as the gulf's waters have drastically warmed in the past 40 years, the population of wild blue mussels has dropped 60 percent along the coast. Since then, those who live…
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The Clean Energy Future Is Roiling Both Friends and Foes

By Jim Tankersley, Brad Plumer and Others   08/16/23  
If there is anywhere in the country primed to welcome the clean energy transition, it is Penobscot Bay in Maine. Electricity prices there are high and volatile. The ocean waters are warming fast, threatening the…
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In Frigid Maine So Many Heat Pumps Were Sold the State Passed its Clean-Energy Target Two Years Early

By Andy Corbley   07/31/23  
Governor Janet Mills announced that Maine has, two years ahead of time, surpassed its goal of installing 100,000 new heat pumps by 2025, a milestone that represents significant progress in reducing Maine’s reliance on heating…
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Maine’s first offshore wind target set to shake up industry

By Heather Richards   07/17/23  
Maine’s offshore wind ambitions are poised to accelerate in a move that could help catalyze the nascent floating offshore wind sector in the Atlantic Ocean. The state is expected to pass a law soon setting…
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Guess Who’s Been Paying to Block Green Energy. You Have.

By David Pomerantz   07/05/23  
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we have to make two big transitions at once: First, we have to generate all of our electricity from clean sources, like wind turbines and solar panels,…
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Maine’s governor vetoes offshore wind bill, breaking with Biden’s labor pledge

Analysis by Maxine Joselow   06/28/23  
Maine Gov. Janet Mills on Monday vetoed a bill that sought to boost the state’s offshore wind industry, saying the measure could exclude a majority of the state’s construction workers because of its labor standards.
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Sea rise, extreme temperatures expected to send more people to inland Maine, climate expert says

By Zara Norman   06/09/23  
More than 200 people attended a conference in Skowhegan this week that included a talk by a climate expert who predicted Skowhegan and other inland communities in the coming decades will see an influx of…
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Maine Compass: Maine research array is necessary next step for coastal resilience

By Lydia Blume   06/08/23  
Climate change is the challenge of our times. Maine has 145 coastal towns, nearly 3,500 miles of coastline, and a critical coastal economy, all of which are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Intensifying…
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It’s Time to Advance Maine’s Climate Goals

05/22/23  
"As Maine goes, so goes the nation." It is increasingly clear that we must transition to renewable energy sources to avoid the worst effects of climate change. In Maine, we have a unique opportunity to…
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Maine businesses brainstorm how to deal with climate change as an economic issue

By Hannah LaClaire   05/21/23  
Climate change is an enormous threat to Maine’s economy but also offers many opportunities for businesses willing to adapt.That was the message presented Friday during ClimateWork Maine’s Summit on Maine’s Economy and Climate Change at…
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In the face of climate change, some Mainers have given up flying. Or tried to, anyway

By Nicole Ogrysko   05/10/23  
There's a steady stream of travelers arriving at the Portland International Jetport on this Friday morning, including 76-year-old Kathleen Sullivan of Freeport.
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How is climate change affecting river flooding in Maine?

By Annie Ropeik   05/07/23  
The Kennebec River in Augusta and Hallowell saw near-record-high flooding earlier this week as inches of rain fell across Maine and New Hampshire. According to the National Weather Service, the Kennebec crested at just over…
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Frustrated by outdated grids, consumers are lobbying for control of their electricity

By Emma Foehringer Merchant   05/05/23  
Climate change is spurring interest in remaking local infrastructure to accommodate renewable energy, minimize power failures and expand consumer choice....
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Maine climate change protections for ocean and beaches rank top in US, study finds

By Chris Costa   05/01/23  
A report by one of the country's largest ocean and beach preservation organizations ranked Maine top in the U.S. for the laws and policies that protect those waterways from the effects of climate change.
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A Maine jury will decide the fate of the embattled CMP transmission line

By Sabrina Shankman   04/07/23  
After years of planning, false starts, and a bitterly fought campaign to kill it, the fate of one of Massachusetts’ most important clean energy projects is set to be decided in a Portland, Maine, courtroom…
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Proposal to help school budgets fight climate change up for a vote

By Jason Nappi   04/03/23  
Going green is not just about having options to tackle climate change, it’s also about taking action. In our latest story from Maine’s Changing Climate, we’re taking a look at a proposal to more easily…
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Lithium is becoming more crucial in a warming world, but Maine’s huge deposits may never be mined because of environmental concerns

By David Abel   04/01/23  
Five years ago, after much of their land had been logged in Western Maine, Gary Freeman and a colleague were bushwhacking through a thicket of raspberry shrubs and maple saplings, searching for a treasure they…
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Preparation and response to flooding, especially with the impacts of climate change

By Jennifer Rooks and Jonathan P. Smith   03/27/23  
In Maine, snowmelt in early spring can often contribute to flooding. Climate change is also causing more and more flooding, including in places that haven’t been flood risks before. We’ll hear from experts about coastal…
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Eelgrass meadows rapidly decline as Casco Bay waters warm

By Joe Lawlor   03/21/23  
Eelgrass meadows in Casco Bay have retreated rapidly over the past four years, reducing the amount of the critical marine habitat by more than half and accelerating a trend blamed partly on warming waters, according…
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Last wild Atlantic salmon can survive Maine dams, feds say

By Patrick Whittle   03/20/23  
The federal government ruled Monday that the last wild Atlantic salmon in the country can coexist with hydroelectric dams on a Maine river, dealing a blow to environmentalists who have long sought to remove the…
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Cases of tick-borne babesiosis increase significantly in New England

By Ross Cristantiello   03/19/23  
New research shows that the tick-borne disease babesiosis is becoming much more common in some New England states.
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Energy Relief, Ahead of Schedule

03/17/23  
Earlier this year, the Maine Legislature passed, and I signed into law, an Emergency Winter Energy Relief Plan to help Maine families stay safe and warm this winter.Hello, this is Governor Janet Mills, and thank…
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How one Maine town is working to enact a climate action plan

By Jason Nappi   03/14/23  
Michelle Radley is a third-generation Mainer. She is working with others across the state on The Climate Initiative. “I was born and raised in Maine. It’s really about the people here that mostly drives my…
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Environmentalists: Maine dam operator not protecting salmon

By Patrick Whittle   03/07/23  
Environmental groups and a Native American tribe accused the operator of a Maine dam on Monday of not fulfilling its obligation to protect the country's last remaining Atlantic salmon river run. The last wild Atlantic…
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College of the Atlantic students take part in Global Climate Strike

By Bryan Sidelinger   03/04/23  
Climate activists around the world once again took to the streets for this year’s worldwide youth climate strike Friday. The annual event was started by a group called Fridays For Future in 2018, and Friday,…
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Residents in one western Maine town look to curb Poland Spring’s appetite for water

By Susan Sharon   03/03/23  
In the small town of Denmark, near the New Hampshire border, some residents are calling for more accountability from bottled water giant Poland Spring. The company extracts water from land it owns in Denmark and…
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Gulf of Maine sees second-hottest year on record, report shows, ‘getting to the edge of habitability’

By Sonel Cutler   02/24/23  
Already one of the fastest-warming bodies of water in the world, the Gulf of Maine recorded its second-hottest year ever in 2022, another ominous indicator of how global warming threatens the rich marine world off…
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What climate change might do to New England

By Froma Harrop   02/24/23  
Maine’s Aroostook County — the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island put together — is way north. Bordering the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick, many of its people identify as Scotch-Irish or Acadians…
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Warming Gulf of Maine highlights impacts of climate change

By Don Carrigan   02/23/23  
A growing number of Mainers have noticed changes in their world as a result of climate change. Based on the latest report on ocean temperatures from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, more of those…
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Long-term effects of warmer climate in Maine may waiver maple syrup seasons

By Caroline LeCour   02/21/23  
ugaring season year by year. Len and Nancy Price have been running Nutkin Knoll Farm and Sugarworks for years, offering both the breakfast staple and Christmas trees when the season comes each season.
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Maine Looks to Add Electric Bikes to Rebate Program

By Steve Collins   02/09/23  
It isn't clear how much it would cost to add a rebate program for e-bikes, but the state’s Efficiency Maine program currently provides at least $500 for eligible electric vehicles.
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Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries among recipients of climate-related grants

By Laurie Schreiber   02/09/23  
Projects across Maine that respond to the effects of climate change on nearshore and marine ecosystems have been awarded nearly $1.5 million in grants through Maine Community Foundation.
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Heat Pump Wars In Maine

By Steve Hanley   02/09/23  
New England and much of the northeast United States suffered through a brutal cold snap lately. The weather observatory atop Mount Washington recorded the coldest wind chill temperature in its history — minus 108º F.…
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Heat pumps are defying Maine’s winters and oil industry pushback

By Anna Phillips   02/07/23  
The video starts with a Maine radio show host dressed in a bright red jumpsuit walking through the snow to a stranger’s door and delighting her with an offer of free heating oil. “My name’s…
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A look at state legislators’ environmental agenda for 2023

By Annie Ropeik   02/05/23  
The following story first appeared in The Maine Monitor’s free environmental newsletter, Climate Monitor, that is delivered to inboxes for every Friday morning. Sign up for the free newsletter to get important environmental news by…
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In Maine, coalition works to make sure organized labor has role in offshore wind

By Sarah Shemkus   02/01/23  
A group of environmental and labor organizations want a state offshore wind advisory committee in its final plan to include more specific language recommending project labor and labor peace agreements. In Maine, coalition works to…
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