How can Mainers afford food, medicine and other necessities when the price of fuel continues to rise each week? Pat LaMarche's common sense approach to these energy challenges balances the needs of Maine's businesses, energy consumers at all income levels, and the long-term health of the planet.
The people of Maine are justifiably skeptical about LNG ... Maine assumed the environmental risks posed by the pipeline, but did not get any of the benefits.
Maine needs a long-term strategic plan for solving our energy problems. Any energy path we take must be carefully examined for its environmental, social, and economic impacts.
Sustainable Jobs for Maine
In a LaMarche administration, everyone will be encouraged to drive less, recycle more, and use as little energy as possible when heating and cooling our homes. The LaMarche administration will assist Maine's businesses as they develop and apply new "green" technologies that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient. This, in turn, will create jobs and encourage business growth in ways that help the planet and strengthen Maine's economy.
Renewable Energy — Our Future
Our nation and our state cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels as our primary energy source. Instead of encouraging consumption of an increasingly expensive and non-renewable resource that is destroying our environment, Maine should be leading the nation in the development of wind, water, tidal energy, and biofuel sources of renewable energy.
For example, Pat LaMarche is a strong proponent of wind power, which is being used on a commercial scale in many other countries. She developed an appreciation for the aesthetics and efficiency of windmills as a graduate student in Holland, and will encourage wind farms as an energy source for Maine.
Neighbors of certain proposed wind farms in Maine, and other interested citizens, have voiced concerns about wind power projects. These concerns will be addressed, to ensure that projects meant to help the environment do not end up having negative impacts instead.
Biofuels Help Maine's Farmers
Maine farmers also hold a key to our energy needs. Crops grown to produce fuel can sustain our farmers as well as our lifestyles.
Even restaurant waste oil provides a readily available and cleaner alternative to fossil fuels. This "waste" product can be easily converted to fuel that can power vehicles and heat our homes.
For starters, a Lamarche administration will insist that all state vehicles capable of using biofuels should do so. This will help both farmers and the environment.
Beware: LNG Is Not a Viable Solution
Contrary to what some people are saying, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is not a viable, long-term solution to Maine's energy needs. Natural Gas, while cleaner than oil and coal, is a fossil fuel and contributes to increased CO2 emissions, which hurt the environment.
The people of Maine are justifiably skeptical about LNG. When a LNG pipeline was run from Canada through Maine to Massachusetts, state officials who negotiated the arrangement did not make provisions for Mainers to use any of this LNG. In other words, Maine assumed the environmental risks posed by the pipeline, but did not get any of the benefits.
Then, when Cumberland County resoundingly rejected an LNG terminal, the terminal's backers shifted their gaze to Washington County and to tribal lands. Because of the environmental risks, even the lure of a few high-paying jobs was not enough to stop Washington County and tribal residents from mobilizing in opposition. Tribal concerns are expected to tie up proposed LNG plans in litigation that could last decades.
The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that the United States only has enough natural gas to last about 60 years. Given this small benefit and the many problems raised by building a LNG terminal, we should not build an LNG terminal in Maine.
Helping Mainers, Helping the Planet
Common sense tells us we have to find short-term solutions that keep Mainers warm during the winter, while doing our part to conserve energy and develop renewable energy sources. That's the path we'll take with Pat LaMarche as Governor.
- LaMarche is Only Candidate Against LNG Facility
- Blaine House Hopefuls Divided on LNG
- Pat's State of the State Speech