Friday, October 21, 2016

Dear Editor - From Frank McDermott, Raymond

Dear Editor,

In the last legislative session, members of the Maine House had a chance to support solar energy, but refused to override the Governor’s veto. LD 1649 would have made solar power more accessible to everyday Mainers, to municipalities that want to reduce their energy costs as well as to companies, farms and other agricultural businesses that want to be more competitive. This was a carefully crafted bi-partisan bill, the product of more than two years of effort, and shaped by two lead Republicans on the Energy Committee. Suggestions that we need more time or a different bill are therefore empty promises and fail to recognize that Maine is falling further behind, and that jobs will be lost because we continue to lack a solar policy. This is the fourth legislative year in a row without passing proposed solar policy – revealing that claims by opponents that they “support solar, just not this bill” as shallow and disingenuous.

My State Representative voted not to override the Governor’s veto so I wrote to him about it. This in part was his response:

"Since I respect you and your money, I do not vote by feel-good thoughts but I seek information, I research and talk to people who are involved (when I can)."  

Unfortunately it seems that Rep. McClellan ignored not only the bi-partisan support of the Energy Committee but also the analysis of the Maine Public Advocate - representing all electricity rate-payers - who was in favor of this bill for its estimated savings of $58 to $110 million for all rate-payers. I can only conclude that Rep. McClellan did not talk to the people involved on this one.  

In Raymond, Casco and Poland, voters are fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Jessica Fay to the house this year. She understands the need to have solar in the mix as part of our energy solution. As a small business owner she knows what is needed to be done in the legislature to move our state forward. Maine cannot continue down the same path we have been on for the last six years. A vote for Jessica is a vote for common sense.

Frank McDermott

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