Maine renewable energy campaign faces deadline

Posted Jan. 30, 2012, at 11:04 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A coalition that’s pushing for a referendum on renewable energy faces a deadline to drop off enough petitions to force a November vote.

Maine Citizens for Clean Energy called off a midday news conference Monday as a 5 p.m. deadline to deliver their petitions to state election officials closed in. At least 57,277 voters’ signatures must be certified in order to put the proposal on the ballot.

Spokesman Dan Cashman said campaign leaders were checking to see if they had collected the required number of signatures.

The referendum proposal would require that at least 20 percent of Maine’s electricity come from renewable energy sources, such as wind, tidal and solar, by 2020, and that utilities invest in energy efficiency whenever it would reduce energy costs for ratepayers.