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

Code Red for the Climate Demands New Behavior by CMP

By Jack Shapiro   09/21/21  
On the same day that the Portland Press Herald reported about an alarming new climate study that has been called “code red for humanity,” it also carried a front-page story about Central Maine Power’s (CMP)…
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Maine Is a Trailblazer in Holding Companies Accountable for Recycling Packaging Waste

By David M. Kuchta   09/20/21  
This summer, Maine became the first state in the U.S. to enact an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging law, which requires companies that produce packaging waste to help pay for the costs of its…
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UMaine to join Bangor and Orono in fighting climate change

By Alex Haskell   09/20/21  
The University of Maine is partnering with Bangor and Orono to address their impact on the local climate.
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ICYMI: Secretary Granholm Visited Maine and New Hampshire to Tour Renewable Energy Infrastructure

09/13/21  
 On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm traveled to Maine and New Hampshire to join U.S. Senator Angus King, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan, and U.S. Representative Chris Pappas to tour renewable energy facilities…
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Conservation groups file lawsuit against owner of central Maine dams, citing violation of Endangered Species Act

By Amy Calder   09/10/21  
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court by the Atlantic Salmon Federation and other conservation groups, alleges Brookfield Renewable Partners are harming and killing endangered Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish at four dams on…
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Maine climate and public health advocates say it’s time to address climate change

By Bob Evans   09/09/21  
Maine State Representative Genevieve McDonald says a proposed bill includes some of the most important climate policies proposed in Congress in years.
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Hydropower plan in jeopardy amid court challenge

By Christian M . Wade   09/07/21  
A plan to bring Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts to help meet the state's renewable energy needs is in jeopardy following a Maine court ruling that questioned the legality of a planned transmission corridor through the…
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What part of the US is safest from climate change?

By Camille Squires   09/04/21  
The storms, floods, heat, and fires that have ravaged the US in 2021 have made the ongoing climate crisis feel especially acute for citizens across the country. And the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…
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How Congress Can Support Maine’s Climate Action Plan

By Jack Shapiro and Emmie Theberge   08/31/21  
Maine’s Congressional delegation has before them the chance to build and pass the most important piece of climate legislation ever seen in the United States. This opportunity comes at a time when the latest report…
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The Easy Climate-Change Win that Rashida Tlaib Backs But Joe Biden Fails to Seize

By Julia Rock   08/02/21  
The Biden administration has signaled its commitment to tackling the financial risks posed by climate change through executive orders and key appointments. But advocates say the president is missing an easy opportunity for big climate…
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Maine Will Make Companies Pay for Recycling. Here’s How It Works.

By Winston Choi-Schagrin   07/21/21  
Recycling, that feel-good moment when people put their paper and plastic in special bins, was a headache for municipal governments even in good times. And, only a small amount was actually getting recycled.
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Maine Will Make Companies Pay for Recycling. Here’s How It Works.

By Winston Choi-Schagrin   07/21/21  
The law aims to take the cost burden of recycling away from taxpayers. One environmental advocate said the change could be “transformative.”
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Worcester County raised scientist Jill Pelto uses art to shed light on climate change

By Nicole Nelson   07/18/21  
“When you first meet Jill, you don’t see all of her,” says Lynne Pelto, the stepmother of climate change artist Jill Pelto. “You really need to spend some time with her to get to know…
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In landmark move, Maine becomes first state to pass legislation to divest from fossil fuels

By Evan Popp   06/19/21  
In what environmental advocates called an important step forward for climate justice, Maine became the first state to commit through legislation to divest from fossil fuel companies after Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill this…
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Maine Becomes First State to Order Public Fossil-Fuel Divestment

By Robert Tuttle   06/18/21  
Maine became the first U.S. state to enact a law requiring divestment from fossil fuels, after Governor Janet Mills signed a measure ordering public funds to jettison investments in coal, petroleum, natural gas and related…
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Maine Senate approves bill to create Pine Tree Power Company

By Alyssa Thurlow   06/17/21  
The Maine senate approved a bill Wednesday that would replace Central Maine Power and Versant. It would ultimately allow Mainers to decide if they want to create the new nonprofit utility, the Pine Tree Power…
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Maine utility regulators can’t consider climate in their decisions

By David Thill   06/16/21  
Maine utility regulators will be able to consider the state’s long-term climate goals in their decision-making under a proposal headed to the governor’s desk. The legislation represents a major expansion in the Maine Public Utilities…
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House advances Cuddy bill to build strong, diverse clean energy workforce

06/16/21  
The Maine House of Representatives gave initial approval Wednesday to a measure sponsored by Representative Scott Cuddy, D-Winterport, that would ensure that future renewable energy projects in Maine capitalize on the opportunity to provide high…
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Maine tries to shift some costs of recycling onto companies instead of taxpayers

By Frances Stead Sellers   06/14/21  
 At the height of tourist season, the recycling bins in this coastal town used to swell with glass and plastic, office paper and piles of cardboard from the local boatyard.
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Maine governor signs bill to save the bees

By Anya Fetcher and Mark Morgenstein   06/11/21  
Gov. Janet Mills signed the nation’s strongest restriction on bee-killing neonicotinoids (neonics) into law on Thursday. LD 155, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth, prohibits the use of the most harmful neonic pesticides in…
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Landmark bill passed by House and Senate seeks to sell off Maine’s fossil fuel investments

By Kevin Miller   06/11/21  
Lawmakers gave final approval this week to a bill directing Maine’s state government and pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies as part of the global “divestment” movement in response to climate change.
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Bridgton, Windham begin planning to weather climate change

By Michael Kelley   06/09/21  
The towns of Bridgton and Windham are teaming up with Greater Portland Council of Governments to explore how climate climate change is impacting their inland communities now and how it could in the future.
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Maine’s blueberry crop faces climate change peril

By Patrick Whittle   06/05/21  
 Maine’s beloved wild blueberry fields are home to one of the most important fruit crops in New England, and scientists have found they are warming at a faster rate than the rest of the state.
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Climate Change Threatens To Displace Bangor Residents Who Rely On Affordable Housing

By Bill Trotter   06/02/21  
After a project to convert a dilapidated former waterworks building in Bangor into affordable housing was completed more than a dozen years ago, it was celebrated as a success for helping to address Bangor’s affordable…
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Maine legislative committee votes to pass proposed consumer-owned Pine Tree Power company

By Chelsea Bard and Don Carrigan   06/01/21  
A legislative committee is supporting a massive change for Maine’s electric utilities. The Maine Legislative Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology voted Tuesday to move forward with a proposed bill that would force CMP and Versant Power…
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Green groups eyeing big climate victories in Maine Legislature

By Evan Popp   05/20/21  
With the first leg of Maine’s 130th Legislature well underway, environmental advocates are optimistic that the progress made so far in committee work will translate to significant victories on a host of climate priorities this…
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Bipartisan Maine lawmakers push to create first statewide, publicly-owned utility in US

By Scott Voorhis   05/17/21  
State lawmakers and activists are pushing for Maine to create the first, statewide, publicly-owned utility in the United States. Proposed legislation would create a new, nonprofit utility. The Pine Tree Power Company would issue bonds…
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Growing U.S. kelp farming industry boosts economies, captures carbon

04/27/21  
Seaweed has long been a delicacy in Asia, but now scientists see nutritional, economic and environmental benefits to building a robust kelp farming industry here in the United States. Ben Tracy reports.
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The Climate Crisis

04/15/21  
We’re reaching the endgame on the climate crisis, as news from both poles made clear this week. In the Antarctic, researchers reported first data from uncrewed submarine trips beneath the crucial Thwaites Glacier
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How Maine’s Tribal Communities Are Affected by Climate Change

04/07/21  
Tribal communities are directly affected by the impacts of climate change, and many are deeply involved in addressing this global crisis. We speak with indigenous representatives about the challenges presented by a changing climate, and…
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Marine Patrol Directed To Remove Gear From Path Of Wind Power Survey If Fishermen Won’t

By Fred Bever   03/24/21  
The state is telling Monhegan Island-area lobstermen to remove fishing gear from the path of a survey vessel — or the Marine Patrol will. That’s after the Department of Marine Resources determined that there is…
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Offshore Wind Promises New England Energy Changes

By Grace Kelly   03/24/21  
The winds and airs currents swirling around the oceans of this blue marble have the potential to power our cities and towns. And locally in coastal New England, the race to harness the power of…
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Giant batteries coming to Maine to soak up, send out excess energy

By Tux Turkel   03/09/21  
Maine policymakers want to encourage such projects as another tool to help meet the state's ambitious climate goals.
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Major utility reform critical to realizing Maine’s clean energy plans

By Marina Schauffler   03/07/21  
Central Maine Power’s most recent debacle, attempting to charge solar developers millions more for grid interconnections despite signed contracts, was shocking but not surprising from a utility that has sought for decades to undermine renewable power.
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Maine could be first state to assess climate impacts of proposed bills

By Andrew Blunt   03/05/21  
Freshman legislator Rep. Grayson Lookner (D-Portland) has put forward a bill this session that could fundamentally shift the way that the state of Maine legislates climate change. Entitled, “An Act Requiring Climate Impact Notes on…
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Under climate emergency, Bangor will take new steps to address climate change

By Chloe Teboe   03/01/21  
 The city of Bangor will begin taking new steps to address climate change. That decision comes after months of encouragement by young, local activists calling on their city councilors to make a difference.
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‘Run The Oil Industry In Reverse’: Fighting Climate Change By Farming Kelp

By Fred Bever   03/01/21  
In the race to stall or even reverse global warming, new efforts are in the works to pull carbon dioxide out of the air and put it somewhere safe. One startup in Maine has a…
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Costly power grid upgrade to boost renewables will test Maine’s commitment

By Tux Turkel   02/28/21  
Maine’s ambitious goal of cutting carbon out of its economy by the mid-21st century is facing a harsh reality: The network of wires and substations built to feed power from central generating stations to homes…
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Panel of Maine experts meet to discuss climate change

By WGME   02/26/21  
A panel made up of experts from across Maine met for the first time on Friday to talk about climate change.
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Driving toward renewable energy

By Galen Weibley   02/24/21  
A new spark towards lowering carbon emissions and encouraging renewable sources of energy is alive and well in Presque Isle. The area has received two proposed solar electric generation facility projects in 2020 that plan…
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Midcoasters say $90M natural gas line expansion isn’t aligned with state climate change plan

By Lauren Abbate   02/24/21  
A proposal from Summit Natural Gas of Maine to expand service to the midcoast faces criticism from those who say the project is a step back for the state in its goal toward a clean-energy…
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A Maine Startup Wants To Pull Carbon Out Of The Atmosphere Using Kelp

By Fred Bever   02/21/21  
A Maine startup is drawing high-profile support for its low-tech plan to address climate change. It wants to use kelp farms to capture carbon, then bury it for millennia at the bottom of the sea.
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When There’s No Heat: ‘You Need Wood, You Get Wood’

By Marguerite Holloway   02/20/21  
The cluster of a dozen or so houses in rural Maine could be a summer camp closed for the winter. The compound has an eclectic, informal feel, with colorful hand-painted signs and stained glass, pottery,…
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Climate change talk to focus on creating coastal resiliency

By Michael Kelly   02/16/21  
Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca and marine geologist Peter Slovinsky will hold a public conversation on how coastal communities can be more resilient to climate change.
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Maine Aquaculture supporting lobster industry battle

02/05/21  
Today, Maine is home to some of our nation’s last true working waterfronts. Our fishing heritage is part of what makes our state such a unique, beautiful, innovative, and sustaining place. Local families have relied…
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Maine may become home to a new hydropower corridor

By Rhian Lowndes   02/04/21  
The New England Clean Energy Corridor is a transmission line planned to run from Quebec to Boston. Hydro Quebec will develop the corridor through their partner, Avangrid, which owns Central Maine power. But there are…
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Maine lab to research kelp farming to combat climate change

02/04/21  
 A Maine science center has received a grant of almost $900,000 for research into ways that aquaculture of kelp can be used to combat climate change.
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Gov. Mills establishes task force to develop forest carbon program for woodland owners

02/03/21  
As part of Maine’s ambitious effort to fight climate change by reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, Gov. Janet Mills has signed an executive order to create the Maine Forest Carbon Task Force.
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Maine Lab to Research Kelp Farming to Combat Climate Change

By Associated Press   02/03/21  
A Maine science center has received a grant of almost $900,000 for research into ways that aquaculture of kelp can be used to combat climate change.
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Maine Conservation Group Praises Biden’s Executive Orders On Climate Change

By Jennifer Mitchell   01/27/21  
The Natural Resources Council of Maine is applauding a series of executive orders issued by President Joe Biden designed to tackle climate change.
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