State Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, speaks in the Maine House of Representatives Monday urging his colleagues to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill that boosts a solar and heat-pump rebate program by adding a surcharge on all those who purchase electricity in Maine. The House voted 105 -41, in favor of overriding LePage's veto. The state Senate must also vote on the issue.

Maine House overrides LePage veto of solar power rebate bill

By Scott Thistle on April 14, 2014, at 3:29 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — The House of Representatives voted Monday to override a Gov. Paul LePage veto of a bill would fund a solar and heat pump rebate program by adding a 0.011 cents per kilowatt-hour tax on residential and commercial electric bills. The new fee will cost the average homeowner …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage vetoes solar energy bill, two others

By Christopher Cousins on April 11, 2014, at 8:02 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage vetoed three more bills Friday evening, including a solar energy concept he has been railing against for weeks. LePage said he vetoed LD 1252, An Act to Improve Maine’s Economy and Energy Security with Solar and Wind Energy, because it establishes a new tax …

Central Maine Power starting annual transmission line inspections

By Ryan McLaughlin on April 10, 2014, at 2:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Central Maine Power’s annual spring inspections of transmission lines are underway, and the company is using a helicopter to perform them. The flights are a part of the company’s inspection program to ensure safe, reliable delivery of power to residences and businesses throughout its service area. The …

South Portland Planning Board votes to extend tar sands moratorium

By Shelby Carignan, The Forecaster on April 09, 2014, at 1:15 p.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The South Portland Planning Board on Tuesday endorsed a 180-day extension of the moratorium on tar sands developments, which is set to expire May 5. The board approved the extension 4-0, with Rob Schreiber and Erick Giles absent. The City Council sent the extension to the …
Leigh Saufley

CMP kept $2.6 million too much in customer deposit money, court rules

By Seth Koenig on April 08, 2014, at 5:49 p.m.
PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on Tuesday that Central Maine Power Co. kept $2.6 million more in deposit payments than it should have, a move state regulators say threatened to inflate customers’ rates. In a ruling written by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, the state’s highest court …
Gov. Paul LePage (second from left) shakes hands with employees at Great Northern Paper company in East-Millinocket after a press conference in Oct. 2011.

LePage signs bill to help restart East Millinocket mill

By Nick Sambides Jr. on April 08, 2014, at 2:08 p.m.
EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has signed into law a bill that would allow electricity sales to restore at least 200 jobs and re-energize a local paper mill, his spokeswoman said Tuesday. “This is a step in the right direction so that both parties can come to an …
A trash truck driver prepares to dump his load of municipal solid waste at Penobscot Energy Recovery Company in Orrington in 2009.

From dumps to wattage: Maine’s changing waste landscape

By Matthew Stone on April 04, 2014, at 9:08 a.m.
A confluence of forces having to do with contracts, electricity prices and landfill space — all coming to a head in 2018 — are at play in the effort by a group representing 187 Maine towns and cities to devise an entirely new scheme for disposing municipal solid waste. This …
From the community

Distributed Generation and Microgrids

By Brianna Courneya on April 02, 2014, at 1:05 p.m.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 7:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Location: Lee Auditorium, Wishcamper Center, USM Campus, 34 Bedford St., Portland, Portland, Maine For more information: Jeff Marks at 207-956-1970; Following up on E2Tech’s successful forum on the needs of and issues with the regional electricity grid – the “macrogrid” …
Rep. Larry Dunphy, R-Embden

House advances bill to give Unorganized Territory more say in wind development

By Mario Moretto on March 31, 2014, at 7:24 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — After a floor debate featuring soaring rhetoric about democracy and self-determination, the House on Monday advanced a bill aimed at giving residents of Maine’s vast Unorganized Territory a new way to slow down wind development. Since 2008, about one-third of the Unorganized Territory has been categorized as …
The scene of the fatal rail explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in July.

Oil sector withholding data on rail cargoes, says US regulator

By Patrick Rucker, Reuters on March 29, 2014, at 3:41 p.m.
WASHINGTON — U.S. transport regulators on Friday scolded the oil industry for not sharing important information on the kinds of rail shipments that have been involved in a number of fiery train derailments. The American Petroleum Institute, a trade group that represents oil industry companies, disputed the accusations. In letters …
U.S. Sen. Angus King

Angus King, other New England senators call for investigation into high natural gas prices

By Dave Solomon, The New Hampshire Union Leader on March 27, 2014, at 6:23 a.m.
Six New England senators, including Maine Independent Angus King, have called on federal regulators to investigate this winter’s high natural gas prices to ensure that markets functioned properly and that prices were not increased by speculation or manipulation. In a letter sent Tuesday night to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission …

States still look to exploit ‘heat and eat’ loophole for extra food stamp benefits

By Reid Wilson, The Washington Post on March 26, 2014, at 2:13 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Governors in several states are using a loophole in the farm bill to restore food aid for thousands of low-income families, potentially wiping out billions of dollars in savings Congress agreed to last month. The action has led to a spat between the mostly Democratic governors and Republicans …
Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, delivers a fiery speech Wednesday from the house floor, which ranged from a paper mill to the history of WWII, urging his colleagues to sustain the governor's budget veto.

Heat-pump amendment helps Maine solar energy rebate bill win broad support in House

By Scott Thistle on March 26, 2014, at 1:33 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill that seeks to expand the use of photovoltaic solar panels in Maine and is funded with a fee in electric ratepayers passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday with what appears to be broad bipartisan support. LD 1252 creates a $1 million fund for …
Canadian National Railway Co. cars are shown at the CN MacMillan Yard in Toronto in 2007.

CN Rail to phase out controversial tank cars after Lac-Megantic disaster

By Susan Taylor, Reuters on March 25, 2014, at 3:06 p.m.
TORONTO — Canadian National Railway Co. will phase out its fleet of 183 older tank rail cars used to transport diesel fuel over the next four years as it works to improve safety after a string of industry accidents involving the puncture-prone cars. The company, Canada’s largest rail operator, said …

South Portland likely to extend tar sands moratorium

By Shelby Carignan, The Forecaster on March 20, 2014, at 6:53 a.m.
SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — The moratorium on loading and unloading so-called “tar sands” oil will likely be extended until Nov. 1. The City Council on Monday approved a first reading of a proposal to extend the moratorium, which is scheduled to expire May 5. The vote was 6-1, with Councilor …

Scientists say destructive solar blasts narrowly missed Earth in 2012, could have cost trillions in damage

By Laila Kearney, Reuters on March 20, 2014, at 6:06 a.m.
Fierce solar blasts that could have badly damaged electrical grids and disabled satellites in space narrowly missed Earth in 2012, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The bursts would have wreaked havoc on the Earth’s magnetic field, matching the severity of the 1859 Carrington event, the largest solar magnetic storm ever …

Belfast council votes to ask state retirement system to divest from fossil fuels

By Abigail Curtis on March 19, 2014, at 12:28 p.m.
BELFAST, Maine — After long deliberation at Tuesday night’s regular meeting, Belfast city councilors have decided to ask the Maine Public Employees Retirement System to divest from its fossil fuel-related investments. One strong supporter of the measure, David Smith of Belfast, said he believes Belfast to be the state’s first …
From the community


By Marianne Pinkham on March 19, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
MAINE CIRCUIT BREAKER PROGRAM: Help is Here The Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund “Circuitbreaker” has has been replaced by a refundable Property Tax Fairness Credit that can be claimed on the Maine Individual Income Tax Form. The filing deadline is May 31, 2014. By appointment Spectrum Generations ADRC …
Gov. Paul LePage

LePage blasts Dems’ solar plan, seeks to expand rebates for heating conversions by increasing state timber harvest

By Scott Thistle on March 18, 2014, at 2:49 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – Gov. Paul LePage launched a fusillade of criticism against the state Legislature’s Democratic majority for supporting bills that promote solar energy during one of the coldest winters in recent history. Rolling out a new proposal on energy, LePage said Tuesday the focus of “liberal” lawmakers on solar …
From the community

Northern Maine Community College to host APP Alternative Energy Fair April 5

By Jon Gulliver on March 17, 2014, at 10:37 a.m.
Saturday, April 5, 2014 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Location: Northern Maine Community College Gymnasium, 33 Edgemont Drive, Presque Isle, Maine For more information: 207-498-8736; PRESQUE ISLE — Northern Maine Community College will host the third Aroostook Partnership for Progress (APP) Alternative Energy and Biomass Fair April 5. The …
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