Spring is here—time to get out and get busy!

Tar Sands Actions and Activity

rejectandprotect.jpgThe Cowboy Indian Alliance (CIA) has asked for our support at its April 27 Reject and Protect action in Washington, DC. The Cowboy and Indian Alliance brings together tribal communities with ranchers and farmers living along the Keystone XL pipeline proposed route. They’ll set up a camp near the White House five days before; we are asked to join them in their march to the White House on Sunday, April 27. 350 Maine wants to be there--do you? We are trying to gear interest for a bus and need to act quickly. Please respond to this poll to help with planning our part in this action.

We are returning to an open-invitation 350 Maine Tar Sands Team Conference Call on Tuesday nights at 7 pm. The call in # is 213-550-2200; code is 3171692#. Please see the developing agenda. To add to the agenda, please contact bob@350maine.org or sarah@350maine.org. The next full meeting for the 350 Maine tar sands campaign will be scheduled soon—stay tuned.

Pay into the Grid and Give Away What We Generate?

bright_abstract_sun.pngCentral Maine Power (CMP) is attempting to block progress in renewable energy with its plan to charge an infrastructure access fee to customers that generate their own alternative energy. CMP maintains that because all customers require the infrastructure—wires, transformers, and poles—for electricity regardless of whether they generate some, all should pay a fee for access to CMP’s infrastructure. 350 Maine sees this as dampening efforts to move toward a decentralized renewable energy system. In addition to seeking to charge for access to its grid, CMP is opposed to feed-in tariffs that would require it to pay for electricity that residential and business producers generate and feed into the infrastructure grid. Combined with the access fee proposal, 350 Maine sees a one-two CMP punch to punish those transitioning to a fossil-free future.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold hearings on CMP’s proposal on April 2 at the PUC headquarters in Hallowell and on April 3 at the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center. The PUC is expected to decide the case by July.

Climate Solutions—Success!

CS-MaineIcon.jpgDespite an approaching snow storm, about 1,000 people attended the March 12 Climate Solutions event in Augusta! Healthy participation by schools filled the halls with young people.  Check this link for a look at Unity College President Stephen Mulkey's keynote address at the summit, and some great photos. Please visit the Climate Solutions Evaluation and Follow-Up page and submit your feedback via the questionnaire.

House Vote Shines on Solar Bill

LD 1252, the “solar rebate” bill, re‐establishes funding for the expired Solar Rebate Program that helps ordinary Mainers and small business owners invest in solar. This bill passed the Maine House on a vote of 95-47 and should come before the Senate this week. The other New England states are doing more to help people develop and benefit from solar power, and they are creating a significant number of solar industry jobs. Call your senator and ask him or her to support LD 1252.

More on Mining Rules

The Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee voted in support of a resolve that rejects LD 1772, the Bureau of Environmental Protection’s provisionally adopted metallic mining rules. This resolve also extends implementation of a new mining statute to June 1, 2016. The change would give BEP and DEP time to develop new rules to protect our environment, and provide financial safeguards and stronger oversight. The ENR Committee’s resolve must pass both houses and be signed by the governor. A gubernatorial veto of the resolve could only be overridden by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses. Email or call your state legislators and urge them to support rejection of the weakened metallic mining rules by voting yes on the resolve to revise the rules proposed in LD 1772. We have been given the chance to make this right, but it takes committed people like you to make this happen.

Save the Date and Check our Website Calendar for More Activities!

  • March 18 in Brunswick (rescheduled from March 12): “Tar Sands Oil: Alberta to Androscoggin”
  • March 21 in Bangor: “Hail and Ale: Effects of Climate Change on Maine’s Native Wildlife”
  • April 26 in Orono: HOPE Festival (see this slide show of past year’s festivals)

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