To save lobsters, Maine piles into states eyeing 100% renewables

by Chris Martin, Bloomberg

Maine, warning that global warming is a threat to its lobsters, just joined the growing chorus of states pledging to get all of their electricity from renewable energy sources.

In setting a goal of sourcing all of Maine’s power from renewable energy resources by 2050, Governor Janet Mills is aligning the state with others including California and Hawaii that have already established 100 percent clean energy targets. Mills said during a conference Thursday that she plans to introduce legislation that would create a climate council responsible for helping achieve the state’s emissions-reduction goals.

“The Gulf of Maine is warming at a rate faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans, driving our lobster populations further up the coast,” Mills said in a written copy of her speech. “Here in Maine, we are witnessing these changes firsthand.”

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Energy priorities shift as a new administration takes hold

by Tux Turkel, Press Herald

Efforts to expand natural gas capacity. Hopes of luring discounted Canadian electricity. Measures to stunt the growth of solar power and discourage wind farms on land and sea.

These actions championed for eight years by Gov. Paul LePage and Republican allies will end on Jan. 2, as a new Democratic governor and Legislature abruptly shift the focus of Maine’s energy policy to boosting local, green-power development and blunting the impacts of a warming climate.

“From warming seas and rising ocean waters to an increase in the tick population, climate change is hammering our state and will have a significant impact on our economy,” said Gov.-elect Janet Mills, responding via email to the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. “As governor, I will prioritize fighting climate change by embracing and advancing a clean-energy future, including, for example, supporting UMaine’s offshore wind research and by providing incentives for community solar and rooftop solar.”

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