LD 1282, “An Act to Establish a Green New Deal for Maine,” reflects the urgent need for economic renewal in our rural state. It grows out of the concerns for good jobs, growing industries, lowering property taxes, renewable energy incentives, and protecting our environment, upon which so much of Maine’s industry and culture depends.
Our bill is fundamentally different from the one under discussion in Congress because it is targeted legislation, not a broad resolution. While the facts of climate science require a transition to renewable energy, the question for our state is: how do we ensure that this transition is fair and equitable for all while creating economic opportunity? These commitments must be the foundation of a Green New Deal for Maine.
The bill calls on Maine to move to 80% renewable energy electricity consumption by 2040, support solar power for schools to reduce costs, and create a Task Force for a Green New Deal that focuses on economic growth, job growth, and renewable energy growth. It establishes the Commission on a Just Transition to ensure that the shift to a low-carbon economy benefits all residents fairly and equitably. This bill was crafted with deep involvement from the labor community, and we’re building a movement for all Mainers.
Will you join us?
Dozens of Mainers submitted testimony in support of LD 1282 at the Public Hearing on April 23rd. You can still have your voices heard!
Submit written testimony to Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee members by clicking here.
You can also contact your State Senator by clicking here and your State Representative by clicking here.
OFFICIAL BILL SUMMARY:
This bill does the following.
- Part A requires competitive electricity providers to demonstrate, by 2040, that their portfolios of supply sources for retail electricity sales in this State are 80% accounted for by renewable resources. It also amends the State’s goals for long-term reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Part B creates the Task Force for a Green New Deal, which consists of 11 members including representatives of State Government, climate science, renewable energy, youth, labor and business. The task force is charged with creating a plan to advance environmental sustainability, renewable energy and economic growth for the State. The plan must include, but is not limited to, a renewable resources strategy to achieve 80% reliance on renewable resources for electricity supply by 2040; a job training strategy, including a training program to prepare workers for green jobs; and a residential energy strategy that provides incentives for installation of solar energy systems and heat pumps. The task force is required to submit a report on its plan by January 15, 2020 to the Governor, the Joint Standing Committee on Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business, the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology and the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
- Part C requires the Public Utilities Commission and the Efficiency Maine Trust to submit a report by January 1, 2020 that includes draft legislation to establish a virtual net metering program to encourage installation of solar photovoltaic energy systems on public school buildings.
- Part D creates the Commission on a Just Transition to a Low-carbon Economy. The commission includes 13 members. The purpose of the commission is to ensure that the State’s transition to a low-carbon economy benefits all residents fairly and equitably. The commission is required to submit an annual report to the Legislature.