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Politics

LePage Tussels With Head of Maine's Largest Construction Company

PORTLAND, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage today used his weekly appearance on a Bangor radio station to strike back at the CEO of the state's largest construction company. 

Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro, recently expressed frustration with the governor's repeated criticism of the state's energy prices.

The tit-for-tat further demonstrates that LePage and businesses sometimes have divergent views of energy policy, and specifically, the role of renewable power.

Vigue is rarely critical of Gov. LePage. But earlier this week he caused a bit of a stir after telling the Bangor Daily News that the governor's rhetoric about the state's energy costs create the damaging impression that Maine businesses can't compete with the rest of New England. Vigue said such statements are a "distraction," and in some instances, "untrue."

"This is the problem with Peter Vigue's comments," LePage said on WVOM Radio. "They were self-serving because he was going to be a benefactor of this solar industry."

The governor is referring to his successful defeat of a contentious bill designed to promote growth in the state's fledgling solar industry. He's also asserting that Vigue is sore because that bill would have benefited Cianbro.

Vigue declined to respond to the claim. Cianbro, which operates in roughly 40 states, is involved in renewable energy projects, including a proposed 9.9-megawatt solar farm in Waldo County.

But the solar bill was primarily geared toward developing residential and community projects. Additionally, reports from the Maine Ethics Commission show Cianbro was not among the 16 organizations lobbying for or against the solar bill.