Baldacci touts energy assistance grants

Posted Jan. 10, 2010, at 10:22 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. John Baldacci says federal energy-efficiency grants of nearly $9 million will help create more than 950 jobs in the state.

In his weekly radio address, Baldacci says the grants, focused on Maine’s industrial businesses, will leverage about $81 million in private investments.

Baldacci said Verso Paper, which received a $2 million grant, will convert energy systems inside its Bucksport mill and save roughly 5,000 gallons of oil a day. A $1.6 million grant for Tex Tech Industries can help the Monmouth company avoid moving 45 to 50 jobs out of the country.

In the Republican response, House Minority Leader Josh Tardy of Newport says a “wild session” is beginning as lawmakers tackle a $438 million budget shortfall. He says Republicans agree with Baldacci that new taxes should be off the table, but says the governor’s budget lacks permanent cuts.

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