Renewables costing Maine money, jobs

Too many Taminos in Maine?

New Study Finds RPS Standards Hurting Maine’s Economy
Governor LePage advocates for reforms in Maine’s energy laws

AUGUSTA – Today, Governor Paul LePage released the following statement in regards to the study, The Economic Impact of Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, conducted by the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research:
“By 2017, this study predicts energy prices will increase by $145 million for consumers, costing the State of Maine about 1,000 jobs. We already pay a statewide total of approximately $220 million more per year for electricity than the national average. This study shows that special interests are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. We can no longer embrace the status quo.

“Unfortunately, low cost, reliable, and green renewables, such as hydro power, are discriminated against in Augusta. Instead, those with powerful political connections have forced higher cost renewables onto the backs of Maine ratepayers. Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.

“Reforming our laws to optimize our renewable energy production will put more money in the pockets of Mainers, bring more jobs to our state, and improve our quality of life. I encourage the people of Maine to tell their legislators that we need to lower the cost of energy.”


On September 26, 2012, the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Beacon Hill Institute for Public Policy Research released a study which found that Maine’s current Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) Law, which mandates the minimum and maximum amount of energy consumers must purchase from various sources, will raise the cost of electricity in Maine by 8% in 2017. This 8% increase amounts to approximately $145 million in statewide consumption costs, and would cost Maine approximately 995 jobs, $85 million in real disposable income, decrease investment in the state by $11 million, and increase the average household electricity bill by $80 per year.

For the full study, please visit:

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Michael D Smith
September 30, 2012 10:09 am

Well, DUH!

September 30, 2012 10:20 am

Somehow, somewhere, “renewables” came to mean “low carbon” although sometimes there isn’t a lot of low carbon in renewables, such as biofuels, or even solar, which various studies have
estimated cause as much as half or more as natural gas plants. As usual, laws got passed based on superficial knowledge of the situation. And, as usual, renewables are never as cheap as their enthusiasts claim they will be (remember British wind, which was claimed able to produce twice what it actually provided over a ten year span?). Nor is it likely that the emissions will be
reduced as claimed. Other than that ….

P.G. Sharrow
September 30, 2012 10:23 am

This cause and effect has been known for at least 50 years. Nothing new here, too bad progressives can’t learn and must drag all the rest of us down their rat hole of pipe dreams. We did a test of this in the Carter & governor Moonbeam years, same result. This time it is much worse and will get even worse that the Maine article presents. Obama said ” under my administration electric costs would necessarily skyrocket” Whole prices of electric power are scheduled to increase at least 4 TIMES the present cost in the next 5 years. This will be a National Disaster. pg

John Game
September 30, 2012 10:25 am

I am guessing that the situation is even worse in California, i.e. our proposition 32 from a few years back will cost us even more, while damaging the world’s finest desert, the Mojave, with huge un-neccesary solar arrays. Is there an analogous study quantifying the costs and damage to the California of corporate so-called “green” energy?

Vince Causey
September 30, 2012 10:37 am

Renewables increasing electricity costs – who would have thought it?
In the UK, there is a new CO2 tax coming into effect in April 2013, at £16 per ton of CO2. The interesting thing about this, rather than the tax itself, is the fact that this represents a floor below which CO2 emissions trading cannot fall, and has to be taken into context with the European trading scheme. Basically, the law makes the emitter liable for the difference between the emiisions trading price and £16. When the law was first enacted, the ETS price was close to £16. Unfortunately it is now nearer £6.
Christopher Booker has a good article in todays Telegraph online.

September 30, 2012 10:43 am

The BBC six o’clock news said that warming oceans means that fish will shrink by 25%.
Odd that whenever I go diving in tropical waters most of the fish seem massive compared to those in UK coastal waters.
Must be true though, if the BBC are reporting it. It’s from that very trustworthy publication called Nature.

September 30, 2012 10:47 am

Quelle surprise. It didn’t need a study by two organisations to demonstrate what everybody knows about the effects of renewables on increasing electricity prices and increasing job losses.

September 30, 2012 10:49 am

“This study shows that special interests are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. We can no longer embrace the status quo. ”
Ah, “The broken Window Syndrome” at work. Nice.

September 30, 2012 10:55 am

Here are some renewable politicians, proving that they might be renewable….But they’re not sustainable (In Britain)…Mutinies and Bounties!…

peter Miller
September 30, 2012 10:59 am

Once the virus of truth about the cost and reliability of renewable energy begins to spread, there will be no stopping it.
There is no vaccine for greenie stupidity, or for devious politicians duped into thinking green is trendy and vote winning.
This will become widely accepted before the CAGW hoax is finally dumped in the dustbin of history.

September 30, 2012 11:02 am

It is interesting to see the reference to ‘special interests’.
Once the renewables industry is widely acknowledged as just another set of troughing lobby groups the game is up.

September 30, 2012 11:15 am

It’s not easy being green! (Kermit dixit)

September 30, 2012 11:17 am

The pain in Maine is only in vain!

September 30, 2012 11:41 am

You know. If we could capture and use just one tenth of one percent of the hot air that the eco-cultists expel,we could probably stop using all fossil fuels for the next million years.

September 30, 2012 11:56 am

* “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” – Obama, POTUS
* “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe” – Steven Chu, Obama’s Energy secretary
* “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States” – John Holdren, Obama’s Science Czar
* “Isn’t the only hope for this planet the total collapse of industrial civilization? Is it not our responsibility to ensure that this collapse happens?” – Maurice Strong, UNEP Director
* “My goal is to destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness… returning throughout the world.” – David Foreman, Earth First co-founder
* “In my opinion, these CEOs of fossil energy companies should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.” James Hansen, NASA Goddard
* “We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.” Gene Hashmi, Greenpeace communications director
* “We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster… to bomb us into the stone age, where we might live like Indians with our localism, our gardens, our homemade religion.” – Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalogue
* “In the history of mankind we witness Nature’s desperate struggle against an error of her own evolution…. If there were a button I could press, I would sacrifice myself without hesitating if it meant millions of people would die,” Finnish environmentalist Pentti Linkola

Barbara Skolaut
September 30, 2012 12:10 pm

WUWT needs a “Like” button, Justthinkin. ;-p

Crispin in Johannesburg
September 30, 2012 12:47 pm

In Maine, like Spain, pain is mainly the refrain.

September 30, 2012 1:20 pm

It looks like the Governor LePage agrees with your thoughts, as stated in your draft paper’s Conclusion, on the role of feedback as it relates to previous decisions-
….”Moreover, since society’s resources are scarce while its needs are numerous, such risk analysis should ideally be part of broader quantitative or qualitative cost-benefit analysis or, failing that, cost-effectiveness analysis. In addition, there ought to be a mechanism for revisiting past decisions in light of new information.”…..
Hope you have time to finalize the paper.

Dr Burns
September 30, 2012 1:25 pm

That’s nothing compared to the 70% increase in electricity prices in Sydney, Australia in the past 5 years because of the renewables nonsense.

September 30, 2012 1:38 pm

If the people of Maine were dumb enough to fall for the global warming scam, then they deserve high power costs and fewer jobs. They only have themselves to blame.

P Walker
September 30, 2012 2:00 pm

Interesting . Angus King , the independant Senatorial candidate in Maine owns a wind farm . I seem to remember that he got caught in some sort of financial shenanigans , like maybe pocketing Federal funds intended for said farm some time back . Might this have any impact on the race ? Any Down Easters out there ?

September 30, 2012 2:36 pm

kakatoa That was published in final form as a book chapter in: Peter M. Haas, John A. Hird, and Beth McBratney, Controversies in Globalization: Contending Approaches to International Relations, CQ Press, Washington, DC, 2009, pp. 103-115. I have the draft online only because I have its electronic version, but not of the final in-print version.

September 30, 2012 2:37 pm

Ah, reality bites. When will California wake up? Perhaps after the fog lifts. It’s actually cannabis smoke over there on the coast. But Uncle Jerry is supplying the propaganda those spoiled brats in SF and LA want to hear. It makes them simultaneously feel good and feel superior. The problem is not getting a fair share of the pie. The size of the pie is not fixed. Under these boobs the pie is shrinking.

Eve Stevens
September 30, 2012 2:46 pm

Owen, it is not the people who fall for the global warming scam and cost themselves money. It is the elected government who panders to the green groups, then closes coal plants and spends taxpayer dollars on renewable energy. In my province of Ontario, our provincial government is spending 7 Billion on windfarms. Can we stop them? We are trying but the greenies and all those with their fingers in the till, keep voting them back in. The government don’t care. It is not their money. We taxpayers and rate payers of Ontario have seen our electricity rates rise 20% per year since this started in 2003. This is one of the reasons I now live 6 months a year in the Bahamas. Electricity is cheaper and we don’t use as much there. I am sure people in Maine feel the same way. They have to heat their homes most of the year also.

September 30, 2012 4:04 pm

We have proposal 3 in Michigan up for a vote in November. It is economic suicide, but a good number of people actually think the electricity is “free” and cheaper than coal. The usual suspects are supporting it.
Specifically in my county I drove out and found the birthplace of the first of the windfarms being constructed. The new power line towers stretch for many miles; I didn’t drive far enough north to find the end.
Apparently learning from other states and countries isn’t enough to stop the madness.

September 30, 2012 4:15 pm

Barbara Skolaut says:
September 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm
WUWT needs a “Like” button, Justthinkin. ;-p

I agree, I like Jo Nova’s theme where replies are threaded too… Anthony?, how ’bout a change?

September 30, 2012 4:31 pm

The most frustrating thing of all is that advocates of renewable energy projects turn the IQ off on standards of low bid contracts or recognizing that commercial roof top solar cost are 1.5 times the utility scale projects and residential jobs are 2 to 5 times higher cost per watt. The low cost leaders of the maturing renewable energy sector are well below the installed cost of recent projects and approach grid replacement costs but no one cares. Those sad facts pretty much define the politicized nature of energy policy in place of best practices and common sense. Meanwhile Obama and Secr. Chu forge ahead with more large grants to start-ups as if to punctuate their standard line of not picking winners.

September 30, 2012 5:14 pm

“mandates the minimum and maximum amount of energy consumers must purchase from various sources…”
So the governments of the NE states have created this great disaster, and now they are sheepishly calling for a… government fix! “Reforming our laws to optimize our renewable energy production will put more money in the pockets of Mainers, bring more jobs to our state, and improve our quality of life. I encourage the people of Maine to tell their legislators that we need to lower the cost of energy.”
This is just cheering on the faithful, assuring them that mandates will work, because the legislators can make it so.

Ben D Hillicoss
September 30, 2012 5:32 pm

I live in Maine and spend between $150.00 and $200.00 per month in electricity… and I heat with wood. every time I see a windmill I am either Angry or Sad… I am not shy and tell anyone who will stand still my opinion….Oh well I might start drilling for oil in my “dooryahd” (dooryard, or front yard
for you non Mainers)

September 30, 2012 7:03 pm

“Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.”

You know It’s getting bad when you have to remind people of the obvious.

Claude Harvey
September 30, 2012 7:57 pm

Maine doesn’t learn from its mistakes. It went through the exact same thing in the 90’s in a hangover from the last time the “green energy” fad came around. Then, as now, it had followed California right off an energy cliff Maine could not afford. As a result, Maine spent hundreds of $ millions buying out “renewable energy” contracts, mostly at that time for wood burners.

richard semock
September 30, 2012 8:11 pm

Mainer’s mistake is not letting the free market find a solution

October 1, 2012 4:45 am

As a former Mainer, I suggest everyone here google the term Angus King Wind.
If the results come up Daily Bail Green Energy Blues, just read the numerous comments (and links), especially toward the end regarding former Maine Governor, Angus King.
That particular thread is currently a work in progress.

October 1, 2012 11:05 am

DR says:
September 30, 2012 at 4:04 pm
We have proposal 3 in Michigan up for a vote in November.

OMG! That’s a proposal to AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION! To “set a standard for renewable energy”. Have you guys lost your minds? That doesn’t belong in a state constitution. It shouldn’t even be a law, but a constitutional amendment? You gotta be kidding.

October 1, 2012 11:11 am

Bobl says:
September 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm
Barbara Skolaut says:
September 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm
WUWT needs a “Like” button, Justthinkin. ;-p
I agree, I like Jo Nova’s theme where replies are threaded too… Anthony?, how ’bout a change?

Anthony’s already answered that in a couple other threads. By running a pretty vanilla WordPress theme without a bunch of problematical WordPress plugins, and running it on WordPress – he gets a stable and resilient blog. As has been reported here, Jo Nova’s site has been down numerous times due to DDOS attacks. I have no doubt WUWT has been similarly attacked, but WordPress – being cloud hosted – can fend them off. So we have to do without the cool widgets. Whatever, it’s the content I’m interested in.

October 1, 2012 11:12 am

Maine’s high power costs rival that of neighboring Nova Scotia where the local monopoly power company Nova Scotia Power has been forced by law pay for wind turbines and tidal power generation. And Nova Scotia’s power rates are now just about the highest in Canada.
This is a recurring theme; force power companies to pay for renewable and jack up power rates. High power rates are built into the cost of everything so the cost of everything rises incrementally, therby delivering higher sales tax revenues to governments. Simple and neat.

October 1, 2012 11:48 am

I live in Maine and the cost of electricity is nearly 16 cents per kw hr.-among the highest in the country. This puts a considerable drag on the local economy.

October 1, 2012 1:27 pm

I’m in maine and many of us didn’tfall for all this.
we’re trying to turn back the side of the southern part of the state.

October 2, 2012 10:01 am

Turn Maine into a park for only the wealthy to reside and the rest can visit from time to time with the proper permits and purchased ticket and impact fees reservation style of course.

george e smith
October 2, 2012 11:16 am

“””””……Louis says:
September 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm
“Common sense dictates that cost must be a factor when evaluating all new energy sources.”…..”””””
Well how about paying attention to the “energy capital” required to make this “renewable” energy available.
Cost problems, are usually strong indicators, that is is a renewable energy wasting scheme, and not a renewable energy supply scheme.
Simple economic problems can be solved with a Government stroke of a pen; but a net energy loss situation cannot be disappeared by Government intervention.
We do know that we got to our present energy supply systems, by “bootstrapping”, not government subsidies. Starting with our own manual labor energy, and the necessary gatherable foods to keep us going, we progressed to domesticate animals to pull plows and the like; until eventually we had fossils and nuclear. That could never have happened, if any of those systems required more energy input than output.
Same test applies to today’s “renewables”. If they can’t duplicate themselves using only their own energy output, then they are NOT an energy source.

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