A group of citizens has formed in Maine to push for legislation that would require utility companies to get 20 percent of their power from renewable sources. The Maine Citizens for Clean Energy is a group of individuals and businesses that have formed to promote increased energy independence, job growth and reduced pollution.
The group’s first task has been to gather signatures for a November 2012 ballot initiative known as The Clean Energy Initiative. The initiative requires 20 percent of the state’s power to come from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020. It also requires electric utility companies to support and invest in all energy-efficiency resources for consumers that are cost-effective and will lower total energy cost.
The coalition may not have to work too hard to get support. Maine’s Public Utilities Commission previously adopted a renewable energy standard that requires utilities to get 10 percent of their power from renewable energy sources by 2017. The public commission says the standard is working by promoting renewable energy development in the state without burdening ratepayers.
The initiative has a diverse group of supporters. At a recent kick-off event for the group, wind power company Reed & Reed and solar roofing contractor IRC Roofing spoke in support of the measure. Andrew Campbell, an Iraq war veteran was quoted in a statement supporting the initiative,“We send over five billion dollars out of state every year buying foreign oil and gas, including money that goes overseas to countries that threaten our national security. By making the transition to clean, sustainable sources of energy here at home, we can reduce our dependence on other nations.”