Energy Independence

LD 1494: Advance New Renewable Energy Sources by Increasing Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 80% by 2030

Status: EUT Committee is reviewing a compromise between the stakeholder group, industrial energy consumers, and the Governor's office.

We all benefit from made-in-Maine renewables that reduce carbon pollution, increase energy independence, and grow our economy. Maine’s vast clean energy resources offer cost-effective local energy at grid, community, and individual scales. Maine currently generates 40% of its energy from renewable sources. This RPS is outdated and can be expanded to 80% by prioritizing new in-state renewables, including solar, wind, and biomass heating.

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet RPS Bill

Energy Independence

LD 1711: Move Forward on Solar Energy That Benefits All Mainers

Status: Finalized by EUT Committee but not yet reported out.

Help businesses, towns, and people in every corner of the state lower energy costs by increasing access to solar power and creating good-quality new jobs. Investments in solar power and new solar jobs are growing quickly in the Northeast and nationwide as the costs of solar have plummeted. However, Maine lags far behind the region because we lack a clear, effective, and fair solar policy. Unpredictability and arbitrary barriers have held back investment in solar in Maine. New solar policy will dramatically expand solar power investment. It will also expand access to solar power for low and moderate income families.

Factsheets: Epc Fact Sheet Solar Bill Final

Greenhouse Gases

LD 1679: Establish the Maine Climate Change Council to Create a Comprehensive Plan to Tackle Climate Change and Transition to 100% Clean Energy

Status: Unanimous report in committee; enacted under the hammer in the House and sent to the Appropriations table by the Senate. Since the finalized budget fully funds the Council, LD 1679 should be enacted.

Mainers want action on climate change and embrace a transition to clean energy. The diverse, inclusive Climate Change Council, its six working groups, and its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee will recommend strategies to “assist Maine to mitigate, prepare for and adapt to climate change.” Those recommendations will help the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) update Maine’s Climate Action Plan to decrease our reliance on fossil fuel imports to generate electricity; create new jobs in Maine in energy efficiency, battery storage, and renewable energy; and spur innovation in electric transportation. It will benefit Maine’s forestry industries by implementing strategies such as increased use of wood as a building material and benefit our farmers and landowners by encouraging them to manage their lands to maximize carbon sequestration.

Energy Independence

LD 1119: Spark Clean Energy Solutions for Maine Cities and Towns

Status: The governor's bond package includes $10 million in matching grants for municipalities. Bond hearings will be scheduled soon.

A $10 million bond would provide Maine towns and cities with matching grants to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects; from solar on landfills to modern wood heating for schools and public buildings. The bond will go to the voters. LD 1119 ->

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet Municipal Clean Energy

Land and Wildlife

LD 911: Protect Maine’s Natural Resources by Investing in Land, Water and Maine State Parks

Status: The governor's bond package includes $30 million for LMF. Bond hearings will be scheduled soon.

The Land for Maine's Future program (LMF) partners with landowners, municipalities, and state agencies to support local economies through conservation projects. A significant new bond will provide funding to protect access to mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It will support working farms, and waterfronts and provide essential infrastructure to Maine parks to help maintain Maine's unique character. LD 911 ->

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet LMF

Clean Water

Protect Clean Water by Upgrading Water Quality in Maine Rivers and Streams

Status: Enacted by the legislature; waiting for governor's signature.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s water reclassification proposal to the Legislature will increase protections for more than 400 miles of rivers and streams, including a significant section of the Penobscot River. Clean water benefits all Mainers. It increases property values, supports the fishing and guiding industries, and helps our fish and wildlife thrive.

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet Water Reclassification

Plastics Pollution

LD 1532: Protect Maine’s Environment from Plastic Pollution by Encouraging the Use of Reusable Bags

Status: Enacted by the legislature; waiting for governor's signature.

Single use plastic shopping bags litter our lands and pollute our waters, clog storm drains and recycling equipment, and are unnecessary. Scientists say that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, ton for ton. Globally, about one million plastic shopping bags are distributed per minute and only 1% are recycled. Today there are readily available, reusable alternatives that cause far less damage to our environment. An incentive helps remind people to use reusable bags

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet Plastic Bags

Healthy Local Food

LD 1433: Reduce Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging

Status: Enacted by the legislature; waiting for governor's signature.

Maine families deserve food that is not wrapped in harmful chemicals. So-called “brain drain” chemicals, PFAS and phthalates, are entering our food supply through processing and packaging. They pose significant health risks, particularly for pregnant women and children. Alternative packaging is available, and the market is already changing. Passing legislation will ensure food on our shelves is in safer packaging and better protect our health and environment. LD 1433 ->

Factsheets: EPC Fact Sheet Toxics In Food Packaging

Clean Water

LD 1775: An Act to Protect Sustenance Fishing

Status: Enacted by the legislature, waiting for governor's signature.

This bill creates a sustenance fishing designated use for segments of rivers or streams where there is sustenance fishing or increased fish consumption by members of the Indian tribes in Maine or other Maine citizens.