The Press Herald recently (Dec. 8) published an op-ed by Bruce Poliquin that repeats an old falsehood: that Maine is a green energy state because its energy generation is 79 percent “green” – coming from renewable sources.

Poliquin misses the point, that Maine consumes far more power than we produce. The Energy Information Administration sources that Poliquin references point out that Maine consumes 12 terawatts of electricity per annum, but the same source shows we only produce 4 terawatts of energy – admittedly, 79 percent of that from green sources, but he ignores the gap, which is filled primarily from out-of-state purchases of carbon source power from NextEra, Calpine and others. That’s why they fought so hard, with so much money, against New England Clean Energy Connect. We also buy power from New Brunswick hydro sources, which apparently are OK for Maine voters despite the moral equivalency to Hydro-Quebec power.

More concerning is the fact that, again to quote Poliquin’s source at the EIA, roughly two-thirds of us power our homes with nonrenewable carbon: heating oil and propane, mostly. And that is to say nothing of our transportation network, powered almost exclusively with imported petroleum.

Maine is a dirty power state, and we have a very long road to getting to carbon neutrality. Poliquin’s column – and similar jeremiads from the anti-NECEC crowd – misuse statistics in a way that keeps Maine from moving forward.

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