Today, Governor Paul LePage applauded the new energy plan introduced by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, which focuses on making America energy independent by the year 2020. The plan looks to achieve this critical goal by bringing all cost-effective sources into the energy mix, reforming the federal energy regulation and permitting processes; establishing more energy partnerships with our Mexico and Canada neighbors; and emphasizing private sector-driven energy and energy technology development.
"It is very encouraging to see that the Romney/Ryan plan stress that both energy and environmental policy are critical for economic success. Through common sense regulatory reform, greater utilization of North American energy sources, and allowing the private sector to drive energy innovation, we will build a more prosperous economy for Maine and the nation," said Governor LePage. "I am pleased to see this plan recognizes the need to reform the status quo on energy policy at the federal level. My administration is working hard to do the same."
In Maine, the average price of electricity is 11.94 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is approximately 24 percent above the national average and costs Mainers an extra $266.8 million per year in electricity costs. Governor LePage has repeatedly stated it is critical that Maine bring its electricity prices in line with the national average to create a business-friendly environment, build our economy, and make Maine industry more competitive on the global market.
The LePage administration has advocated for a number of initiatives to lower energy costs in Maine, such as removing the 100 megawatt cap on qualifying renewable hydroelectric energy, which would level the playing field of Maine electricity generation and also allow Maine to import low-cost electricity from Canada as part of the renewable energy mix. The administration has also stressed the need for diversity in our energy supplies to prevent over reliance on any one source. For instance, biomass plants, natural gas infrastructure, wood-pellet heating systems, and heat pumps all reduce our heavy dependence on oil while still keeping energy costs low.