Maine's first year of a two-year 128th Legislative Session closed in August with a brief government shutdown, dozens of Gubernatorial vetoes, and a slate of energy and environmental bills passed, carried over, or dead!
The fate of solar "net energy billing" was decided amongst a cluster of constitutional, political, and parliamentary maneuvers. Mining regulations survived after years of dueling advocacy campaigns thrust the issue to the top of environmental and business legislative agendas. Small wins for recycling, clean water, and renewable portfolio standards occurred alongside defeats of bills pertaining to on- and offshore wind projects, building code standards, and plastic bag moratoriums. Biomass, microgrids, large-scale hydro, and arsenic testing live to fight another day in the 2nd half of the legislative session in 2018.
The following list highlights the status of a representative list of energy and environmental bills. For more information about bills' status, contact Jeff Marks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bills that passed:
- LD56 "An Act to Include Milliliter and Smaller Liquor Bottles in the Laws Governing Returnable Containers"
- LD 454 "An Act to Ensure Safe Drinking Water for Maine Families"
- LD 803 "An Act to Improve Transparency in the Electricity Supply Market"
- LD 820 "An Act to Protect Maine's Clean Water and Taxpayers from Mining Pollution"
- LD 1061 "An Act to Increase Investment and Regulatory Stability in the Electric Industry"
- LD 1151 "An Act to Allow Promotional Allowances by Public Utilities"
- LD 1313 "An Act to Establish Energy Policy In Maine"
Bills that died:
- LD 57 "An Act to Phase Out the Use of Single-Use Plastic Shopping Bags" (veto not overridden)
- LD 529 "An Act to Ensure Resiliency of the Maine Electrical Grid" (veto not overridden)
- LD 901 "An Act to Amend the Laws Governing the Determination of a Wind Energy Development's Effect on the Scenic Character of Maine's Special Places (veto not overridden)
- LD 1062 "An Act to Expand the Availability of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Maine" (veto not overridden)
- LD 1262 "An Act to Protect Monhegan Island by Limiting Wind Turbines (unanimous "Ought Not to Pass" report from the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology)
- LD 1392 "An Act to Allow Municipalities to Opt Not to Enforce the Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code" ("Ought Not to Pass" report was accepted in both the House and Senate)
- LD 1504 "An Act to Modernize Rates for Small-Scale Distributed Generation" (veto not overridden)
- LD 1513 "An Act to Provide for Affordable Long-Term Energy Prices in Maine" (unanimous "Ought Not to Pass" report from the Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology)
Bills to be carried over to the next session:
- LD 40 "An Act to Strengthen Requirements for Water Testing in Schools"
- LD 131 "An Act to Protect the Biomass Industry"
- LD 257 "An Act to Enable Municipalities Working with Utilities to Establish Microgrids"
- LD 260 "An Act to Create the Maine Energy Office"
- LD 532 "An Act to Remove the 100-Megawatt Limit on Hydroelectric Generators Under the Renewable Resources Law"
- LD 656 "An Act to Improve the Ability of Maine Companies to Manufacture and Market Bioplastics
- LD 1224 "An Act to Allow for Greater Energy Competition in Maine by Amending the Law Governing Electric Generation or Generation-Related Assets by Affiliates"
- LD 1373 "An Act to Protect and Expand Access to Solar Power in Maine"
- LD 1444 "An Act Regarding Large-Scale Community Solar Procurement"
- LD 1515 "An Act to Reduce Electric Rates for Maine Businesses by Amending the Laws Governing Spending from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund"
- LD 1632 "An Act to Establish the Manufacturing Jobs Energy Program"
The 2nd half of the 128th Legislative Session begins in January 2018.