I find one point of agreement with Gov. LePage and his “unpaid technical adviser,” James LaBrecque: that is, on the benefits of heat pumps for reducing home heating costs.
My household has reduced fuel oil consumption by 85 percent since installing them. But to save much more money as well as help the environment and support the creation of Maine jobs, I’d love to be able to generate my own electricity to operate the heat pumps by installing solar panels.
Sadly, my solar orientation allows only room enough for two solar thermal panels, which has largely diminished the cost of heating our domestic hot water. If Maine had any leadership at the gubernatorial level, or even less mindless opposition, we would have a solar policy that could truly benefit the state. It is inane to assert we should build expensive transmission lines to bring hydropower all the way from Quebec, then pay whatever cost they demand for the power, rather than make every effort to generate our own power locally from wind, solar and tidal sources.
All forms of energy receive public subsidies of some sort (low-cost leases for oil drilling on public lands, depreciation allowances, etc.), but only renewables allow us to generate our own power while also helping the environment. The potential job opportunities could also benefit our rural areas hard hit by paper mill closings. Gov. LePage should either lead or get out of the way.