Maine’s Omnibus Energy Bill (HP 1128 or LD 1559
) became law on June 27, 2013 after the state Senate unanimously overrode Governor LePage’s veto. The House overrode the governor’s veto with a 121-11 margin. The law, which focuses on reducing energy costs to Maine residents, increasing energy efficiency, improving electric system reliability, and protecting the environment, had strong bipartisan support.
The law will expand natural gas infrastructure in the state. In addition, the law will increase spending on energy efficiency programs, including home weatherization programs, to bring it in line with other states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
. The law also includes a provision to adopt the RGGI Model Rule
. Maine and New Hampshire are the only states in RGGI that require legislative action to adopt the model rule. The New Hampshire legislature has already sent a bill to do this, HB 306
, to Governor Hassan’s desk, and she is expected to sign it soon.
Governor LePage supported some aspects of the bill, but vetoed it for a couple of specific reasons. He wanted the bill to support an offshore wind project proposed by the University of Maine rather than one developed by a Norwegian energy company. In addition, the Governor wanted a version that would alter the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS
) to allow non-wind projects larger than 100 megawatts in capacity to qualify.