Gov. Paul LePage just vetoed a solid solar energy bill, LD 1504, that passed with ease in the Legislature for the second year in succession. Again the bill will come up for an override vote in both houses. A big difference this year is that Rep. Karen Vachon, R-Scarborough, voted for the bill on the first vote. Sen. Amy Volk, R-Scarborough, voted affirmatively this year and last. Both are to be commended for standing with the will of the people and moving this necessary bill forward. We are counting on both of them to stand up to the governor and vote for the override, something that is becoming rather routine of late. Regrettably, Rep. Heather Sirocki, R-Scarborough, has once again refused to oppose the governor.
The solar bill will prevent the Public Utility Commission’s unreasonable policies from going into effect, preventing great harm to the job-rich solar industry and preventing major unnecessary rate increases. The bill will require the PUC to comprehensively study the effects of net metering, not just eliminate it. It also allows for larger solar arrays, permitting essential economies of scale. It also eliminates the need for new meters and billing systems, the cost of which would be borne by all ratepayers. Thanks again to Sen. Volk and Rep. Vachon.