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Politics

Maine Senate and House at Odds over Gov's Energy Bill

AUGUSTA, Maine - On a party line vote, the Maine Senate has supported Gov. Paul LePage's proposed changes to state energy policy, which switch the focus to broad goals rather than technology-specific targets.

Sen. David Woodsome, a Republican from North Waterboro, says current law is not flexible enough. "Instead of mandating specific technology choices we should have a flexible policy that promotes all options that get the results we are looking for to achieve  - lower costs and lower pollution," Woodsome said.

But Democrats argue the policy proposal is too complicated to consider this session. They are also concerned about potential unintended consequences if the state abandons specific goals for the various renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.

"The bill has enormous implications and should be studied before acting upon," said Sen. Dawn Hill, a Cape Neddick Democrat. "The removal of wind energy goals would negatively impact the construction industry, which is one of the strongest industries within the energy sector in Maine right now."

The House has already rejected the proposal on a 77 to 69 vote but will now get the measure for further consideration.