We in Maine treasure our environment: our clean air, our pure water and our natural wonders, from our spectacular ocean and lake views to our challenging mountains.

Why, then, are we allowing a lame-duck governor to keep the cleanest power possible, solar energy, from happening here in Maine?

There are no fewer than four solar bills coming forward in the Legislature, all deserving serious consideration.

One, L.D. 1373, would keep the governor’s appointed Public Utilities Commission from enacting its new rules, which basically shut down all the incentives for installing solar panels on homes. In doing so, the PUC stops good-paying jobs for young people, as well as a cleaner environment through less need for fossil fuel power plants at peak times.

In New England, Maine is dead last, per capita, in solar jobs because of these draconian rules. The argument that solar costs poor people more has been debunked by several studies; in fact, we aren’t even paying solar providers a fair rate for the excess power they generate.

It’s time to push our legislators to pass one or more of these bills, particularly L.D. 1373, and get us out of the governor’s “Dark Ages” of sending $5 billion per year out of state to pay for fossil fuels.

Even a coal mining museum in Kentucky has gone solar to save money and clean up air pollution. Why aren’t we?

Bob Lyman