Portland, Maine—Maine Citizens for Clean Energy announced today that 28,000 Mainer voters signed a petition on Election Day to put a citizen’s initiative on next year’s ballot to expand clean energy in Maine, beating the coalition’s goal to collect 20,000 signatures less than two weeks after launching the campaign. A network of more than 325 volunteers collected the signatures at polls across the state, just six days after the campaign received petitions from the Secretary of State’s office. The coalition also announced that volunteers will collect signatures again this Friday at post offices across the state in an event dubbed, “Letters to Maine’s Future Day.”
“Clean renewable energy is the best way to protect our environment and to keep jobs and money in our community,” said Ann Morrill, a volunteer for the campaign in South Portland.
The ballot initiative will help reduce Maine’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, clean up our air, and create thousands of good paying jobs – from building, operating, and manufacturing components for wind farms and solar panels to installing energy efficient equipment in our homes and businesses. Specifically, the initiative will require power companies to double (from 10% to 20%) the amount of electricity they obtain from new renewable sources, like wind and solar power, by 2020, and require them to invest in energy efficiency to lower energy costs for homes and businesses.
“The moment I said ‘energy efficiency,’ everyone wanted to sign,” said John McCullin, a volunteer from Orono. “People around here intuitively understand that our homes and businesses need more help to use less energy.”
“Voters all across the state understand that investing in clean energy will lower costs and create jobs in every community,” said Cliff Ginn, Co-Director of Opportunity Maine, and statewide field director for the signature drive.
“We’ve been blown away by voters’ enthusiasm and support for expanding clean energy. People are so excited to learn about the initiative and help to put it on next year’s ballot. Together, we can break Maine’s dependence on dirty, polluting energy sources and shift to clean energy that’s made in Maine—cutting pollution, protecting our health, and creating jobs,” said Emily Figdor, Director of Environment Maine, which organized volunteers at the polls in southern Maine.
Maine Citizens for Clean Energy is a coalition clean energy and construction companies, environmental groups, and workers. For more information about the campaign, visit cleanenergymaine.org.