AUGUSTA, Maine -- The list of states committing to power themselves with 100 percent clean energy could soon include the Pine Tree State. The Maine Legislature passed a bill last night that would increase the state’s renewable energy standard to 80 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. Both the Senate and House votes were overwhelming and bipartisan with the Senate voting unanimously 34-0 for the bill. It now heads to Gov. Janet Mills’ desk for her expected signature.
If LD 1494 is signed into law, Maine would join Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Washington and Puerto Rico in committing to 100 percent clean electricity. New York could pass a similar law through its Legislature as soon as today.
Rob Sargent, senior director of Environment America’s Clean Energy program, issued the following statement:
“We need to transition to clean energy at a pace and on a scale that matches the urgency of our environmental challenges. Passage of this bill, with overwhelming and bi-partisan support from state leaders, is good news for the people of Maine. It also bodes well for the prospects of continued national progress on the shift to renewable energy. We’re thrilled the Pine Tree State is on the cusp of joining the ‘A team’ of climate leaders, and we look forward to working with Gov. Mills to implement this vital and commonense plan.
“Our federal government is failing to protect our health and the future of the planet as we know it from the harmful effects of fossil fuel pollution. Thankfully, we’re seeing states step up and lead. Every part of the country, including Maine, has access to an abundance of pollution-free energy resources that don’t foul our air and water, and alter our climate.
“With this action, Maine is sending a strong message to the rest of the country that it’s ready to do its part to combat climate change. We’ll be working hard to help other states do the same.”