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.