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Business and Economy

Summit Addresses Challenges in Maine Paper Industry

BANGOR, Maine — Mill managers, paper executives, state officials, foresters and transportation and energy experts gathered here Tuesday for a summit on the future of papermaking in Maine.

Panel discussions covered the challenges facing papermakers, including high energy and wood costs, as well as possible solutions.

Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau, a Republican, took part in a panel, looking at what the Legislature can do to help the industry.

"They want stability, particularly in the tax code," he says. "Property tax relief for folks that are willing to come and make that investment in our state."

Another panelist, discussing Maine's energy challenges, said the state needs to add another two billion cubic feet of natural gas pipeline to bring in more gas from the Marcellus shale deposits.

Experts say the additional supply would lower both gas and wholesale electricity prices, especially during the winter months.