Pack the PUC Hearings and Stand Up for Solar
The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold hearings on Central Maine Power’s (CMP) proposal to charge an infrastructure access fee to customers that generate their own alternative energy on this Wednesday, April 2, at the PUC headquarters at 101 Second Street in Hallowell and on Thursday, April 3, at the University of Southern Maine’s Abromson Center. The hearings start at 7:00 p.m. but solar supporters plan to rally at both hearings at 6:00 p.m. 350 Maine asks solar supporters to wear yellow. The PUC is expected to decide the case by July. This is a great opportunity to stand up for a renewable energy solution. We need 350 Mainers to pack both hearings! If you are unable to attend a hearing, please forward your comments to the PUC.
350 Maine also supports Bowdoin Climate Action’s plan for a Love ME—Lights-Out action. Join Bowdoin students and other Mainers and turn off your lights and unplug on Friday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. Students are asking those who join in this action to Tweet #stopCMP and #keepMEgreen when they turn out their lights. Register for the action on the link above. People Power for Solar Power!
New Date for Reject & Protect; New Ideas on Travel to DC
350 Maine recently received word that the date for the march with the Cowboy Indian Alliance to protest the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has been changed! The march is now planned for Saturday, April 26, not Sunday. We are still investigating group travel to the march but we need to know if you will be joining us. Your response to our poll is crucial for planning travel to DC and making it as affordable and fun as possible. Please fill out this poll by Saturday, April 5. The poll also registers your interest in a solidarity action here in Maine. If you have difficulty with the poll, please send an email to Bob Shaw, who is one of the 350 Maine coordinators on this action. See additional information here.
Maine Pension Fund to Work on Responsible Investment Policy
On Friday, March 28, the Appropriations and Finance Affairs Committee of the Maine legislature voted a unanimous “ought to pass” on LD 1806, a bill that includes a directive for the Maine Public Employees Retirement System (MainePERS) to form a task force and set a deadline for developing guidelines on environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors that will inform the agency’s practices, specifically regarding investment, divestment and proxy voting.
The 350 Maine Divestment Team is working to keep MainePERS aware of deep concerns about climate change and the risks of investing in fossil fuels. Efforts are underway in municipalities to send the message to MainePERS that their fiduciary responsibility can and should include ridding their portfolio of coal, oil, and gas investments. LD 1806 specifically requires the task force to solicit information from stakeholders; we will continue to play an active role in the process. Please contact your legislator to urge support for LD 1806 and sign the petition to MainePERS. To initiate a union, faith community, or municipal resolution in support of fossil fuel divestment, please contact Read Brugger or Karen Marysdaughter of the 350 Maine Divestment Team.
Raiding ReGGI? Tell Legislators Hands Off!
How’s this for a bad budget gap solution? The Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations & Financial Affairs is poised to siphon off $2,750,000 in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI, pronounced reggie) funds and another $6,500,000 from the Maine Yankee settlement fund—that’s nearly $10 million from Efficiency Maine's energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that help Maine homeowners and renewable energy businesses. Fifty percent of RGGI funds are used to reduce energy costs in Maine businesses, and another thirty-five (35) percent is used to fund programs that reduce home heating bills. Investing these funds in energy efficiency would generate far greater economic and environmental benefits than redirecting funding to the state budget.
We need to contact the committee members to tell them hands off these funds. You can leave a message with the committee clerk here. We also need to call our district legislators to ask them to urge their colleagues on the appropriations committee not to raid the RGGI and Maine Yankee Settlement funds. You can tell your legislators that raiding Efficiency Maine is not a budget gap solution: 800-423-2900 for representatives and 800-423-6900 for senators.
Metallic Mining—Vote Yes to Say No
350 Maine asked you to contact your 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. Voting YES to say NO is confusing; the exact language you should use is vote ought to pass on the majority report for LD 1772. This resolve rejects the recent terrible Board of Environmental Protection’s (BEP) proposed mining rules.
Save the Date and Check our Website Calendar for More Activities!
- Brunswick, April 11: “Love ME Lights Out” action, 7:30 p.m. all over Maine
- Durham, April 12: Non-Violent Civil Disobedience (NVCD) training for Credo Pledge of Resistance, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Durham, Maine. Please contact Lee Chisholm for additional information and to sign up.
- Portland, April 20: Urban Earth Day, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., Congress Square Park
- Orono, April 26: HOPE Festival, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., UMaine-Orono