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Legislative Updates



LePage threatens veto of quick fix to Efficiency Maine funding problem
Portland Press Herald
In case there was any uncertainty, Gov. Paul LePage made it clear that he will veto a bill to correct a $38 million clerical error unless it also contains other energy policy changes sought by his administration. The Republican told an energy conference on April 3 that he wants his current Governor's Energy Office elevated to a Cabinet-level agency within his administration.
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LePage aims to cut prices, transform Maine's energy future
The Associated Press via CentralMaine
Maine became the regional wind power leader under Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, but change is in the air as Gov. Paul LePage makes an aggressive push away from his predecessor's renewable energy policies. The outspoken Republican, who says wind power is too expensive, is looking to hydropower from Canada and natural gas to bring down electricity prices that are among the highest in the country.
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Democrats: Republican leader's proposed 'fix' for energy bill typo an attempted power grab
Maine Public Broadcasting
You might have heard about a clerical error in a huge omnibus energy bill two years ago that has led to a nearly $40 million cut in funding to the Efficiency Maine Trust, an agency that oversees programs to help Mainers cut energy costs. The effort to correct that error has turned partisan. And Democrats — and even some Republicans — are accusing Gov. Paul LePage of an attempted power grab.
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Maine GOP proposes energy bill fix but ties it to expansion of governor's authority
Bangor Daily News
Republican House Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport announced recently that he has reached an agreement with Gov. Paul LePage to fix an energy bill that has become known as the case of the $38 million missing "and." The agreement puts "and" back where legislators say it belongs in the part of a 2013 law that addresses funding for energy efficiency programs but also creates a new Cabinet-level energy commissioner and deputy commissioner, along with two other positions.
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South Portland seeks dismissal of suit challenging ban on oil loading in harbor
Portland Press Herald
The city has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the Portland Pipe Line Corp., saying that the company cannot claim damages from a city ordinance because it has "no current plans" to reverse the flow of the pipeline to bring Canadian crude oil to Portland Harbor. The city is defending its Clear Skies ordinance, approved last summer, which bans loading crude oil into tankers in the harbor and effectively prevents the company from reversing the flow of its South Portland-to-Montreal pipeline to bring Canadian tar sands oil into Maine.
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MEMA Technical Education Center - MTEC



BY POPULAR DEMAND! MTEC offering additional Propane Basic Principles and Practices class
MEMA
May 4 - 5. Space is very limited - Register today!
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Coming to MTEC in May 2015: Save up to $500 on our 40-Hour Heat pump Training with Efficiency Maine Rebate!
MEMA
The class takes place on May 18-22 at 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., with Instructor Roger Mitchell.
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Industry Headlines



Pellet plant plans progressing in Mattawamkeag
Bangor Daily News
A developer's plan to turn the former Dr. Carl Troutt School into a small-scale wood pellet manufacturing facility might get a significant boost when the planning board meets to discuss it on April 8, officials said. Code Enforcement Officer Dwight Tilton said recently he didn't expect the board to encounter any major obstacles in approving developer David Kidwell's proposal when it meets and holds a public hearing on the plan. The meeting is set for 7 p.m. at the town office, he said.
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Maine Natural Gas seeks rate hike to raise $10 million
Portland Press Herald via MaineBiz
Maine Natural Gas is seeking a rate hike to increase its revenue by $10 million over the next three years to make safety and infrastructure upgrades. The Portland Press Herald reported that the natural gas company, which serves areas around Augusta, Bath-Brunswick and Windham-Gorham, is asking the Maine Public Utilities Commission to approve the rate hike by Dec. 1.
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Bowdoin students stage sit-in outside president's office
Bangor Daily News
About 20 Bowdoin College students launched a sit-in recently outside President Barry Mills' office, refusing to leave until the administration commits to working with them to eliminate all fossil fuel investments from Bowdoin's $1.2 billion endowment. Members of Bowdoin Climate Action sat with laptops and backpacks on chairs and along the floor of the hall outside Mills' office just after 10 a.m. on April 1, quietly reading or writing. Mills' door remained closed and students said they did not know if he was present.
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Missed an issue of MEMA Randoms? Click here to visit MEMA Randoms archive page.


Maine Natural Gas seeks rate increase that could boost monthly bills by $50 over 3 years
The Associated Press via Fox Business
Maine Natural Gas is seeking a rate increase as part of a proposed three-year plan that could drive customers' bills up by nearly $50 per month by 2018. The company says it needs more than $10 million in additional revenue over the next three years to improve the safety and reliability of its distribution system, expand customer services and bring earnings in line with industry standards.
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Labor group says agreement reached on gas pipeline
The Associated Press via PennEnergy
A group representing unionized construction workers says it has signed an agreement with the company that plans a $5 billion underground natural gas pipeline through southern New England. The Massachusetts Building Trade Council recently announced that a Memorandum of Understanding with Kinder Morgan requires the firm to use union labor at all construction sites in Massachusetts.
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Maine's energy forecast: Partly sunny, clouded by questions
Portland Press Herald
A retired engineer's solar-panel-equipped home in Oakland produces more electricity than it uses, feeds some back into the grid and dramatically reduces costs. Can we integrate this model on a wide scale?
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Convenience Store News



Store owners in Maine's small towns seek changes to liquor laws
Maine Public Broadcasting
In most of Maine's larger cities and towns, there's little chance of having to stand in line for liquor. But it's a different story in many of the state's smaller communities, particularly those tourist-dependent towns that grow in population during the summer months.
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LAST WEEK'S MOST POPULAR ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    US oil and gas drillers scrambling to thwart OPEC threat (The Associated Press via PennEnergy)
Downeast LNG to file environmental reports for natural gas terminal (Bangor Daily News)
GOP: Fixing $36 million typo in energy bill is not so simple (Bangor Daily News)
With so much oil flowing, US may be reaching storage limits (Maine Public Broadcasting)
Cigarette smuggling a problem in Maine (MaineWire)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

 



MEMA Randoms
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Christina Nava, Content Editor, 469.420.2612  
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