Maine is at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to energy. Without any fossil fuel resources in the state, most of the money spent on gasoline, diesel, heating oil, propane, natural gas and kerosene leaves the state to support corporations and extraction jobs thousands of miles away. In 2015, more than $4.4 billion left Maine’s economy to pay for these fossil fuel resources. This is more than 8 percent of the state’s GDP disappearing to pay for dirty energy.

Solar arrays can significantly reduce the electricity expenses for homes and businesses across the state. Additionally, solar can supply energy for heat pumps or for electric vehicle charging, saving money for smart consumers. In all three instances, this reduces fossil fuel expenditures and keeps money in the Maine economy.

Local clean energy also creates jobs for Maine residents. Cutting our fossil fuel consumption in half would retain more than $2 billion in the Maine economy every year, and create more than 10,000 jobs across the state.

Maine must continue to be a clean-energy leader. Every effort should be made to support solar, wind, biofuels and other local clean-energy options. This will help avert climate change and benefit the Maine economy. Please ask your legislators to support net metering and a transition to 100 percent clean energy statewide.

David Gibson