‘Real quandary’ regarding PUC 

The Public Utilities Commission needs one more prerequisite for its approval of the Hydro-Quebec transmission line: direct and unmitigated access to Hydro-Quebec power for the State of Maine electrical energy customers.  Yes, there’s other “sweeteners,” which are being offered, and they would help but access to low-cost power will immediately tumble the power costs for residences and cause Maine businesses dependent upon electrical energy to become more competitive, think pulp and paper.   

It’s a quandary why the PUC hasn’t placed the access requirement on the table.  Could it be some shaded pieces of external energy politics has entered the picture?   

With other power generators competing for the market, bringing in the lowest-priced electrical energy would place them at an economic disadvantage and toss the market basket of energy mix into dither, not only in Maine but possibly in the whole New England region.  Conversely, it would greatly benefit the Maine power customer.   Last time I looked benefiting the (Maine power) consuming customer is a major criterion by which the PUC is to base its decisions.    It would be an economic coup for Maine to have the regional energy advantage –  Just saying.    

Stephen Gorden, 

North Yarmouth 


Rising sea levels in Bath 

Last week The Times Record carried a report about the negative impact of rising sea levels on Bath’s waterfront property values, really just another unsettling climate change story. Maine has seen an increase in Lyme disease, warming and acidification of the Gulf, and rising sea levels along our coast. Major scientific reports confirm again and again that human activity is driving climate change, and assert that we are running out of time to slow the process.

The City of Bath of Bath has long worked on energy saving strategies, implementing many specific recommendations from its Climate Action Plan. However, the evidence is that the global transition off fossil fuels is not happening fast enough to avert rising sea levels and other potential dangers of runaway climate change. Local actions need to be accompanied by actions from all sectors across the global community.

Two weeks ago, the US House introduced the first bipartisan, comprehensive climate legislation in Congress in a decade, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) H.R.763. If passed into law, the policy would put a price tag on the carbon pollution which is warming the earth and driving extreme weather patterns across the planet. It calls for a fee on the pollution resulting from burning coal, oil, and gas; while it protects us from rising fuels prices by mandating that all the revenue be returned in equal shares to US citizens as monthly “carbon dividends”. A recent, bipartisan op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, signed by many prominent economists, strongly supported carbon pricing policies. British Columbia, Sweden, and more than 40 other countries have similar policies in place or in the pipeline.

In sum, science tells us that human caused climate change is real, and serious; economists tell us that carbon pricing is the fastest way to transition to a clean energy future; and the bipartisan bill in the US House promises a sound and optimistic plan to jumpstart that transition. Please consider contacting your town, state, and US representatives with your support for this actual bill that sits on the floor of the US House (H.R.763). 

Paul Perkins, 

Bath