Energy task force seeks public comment

Posted Aug. 07, 2008, at 12 a.m.

State officials are asking for public comment on a recent report that explores the possibility of more Maine homes and businesses converting to wood heat to help solve the current energy crisis.

The Governor’ s Wood-to-Energy Task Force has released a 43-page draft report that lays out strategies for lessening Maine’ s dependence on oil. Many of the recommendations are policy related and are meant to help consumers and suppliers make the transition from heating oil to wood heat, and particularly to wood pellets.

The report also discusses the importance of ensuring that Maine’ s forests are harvested sustainably amid any widespread switch to wood heat and that the state’ s air quality does not suffer from increased use of older, inefficient wood stoves and fireplaces.

The task force will hold a public hearing next week in Augusta to solicit comments on the report. The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, in Room 208 of the Cross State Office Building. Audio from the hearing will also be broadcast online at http://janus.state.me.us/legis/audio/.

The full draft report also is available online at www.maine.gov/doc/initiatives/wood_to_energy/task_force.html.

Written comments can be submitted to: Governor’ s Wood to Energy Task Force, Department of Conservation, 22 State House Station, Augusta 04333.

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