August 19, 2019

Energy-wise legislation

I hope your editorial, “Driving Tips from Norway” (BDN, May 6), will be read in Washington where we desperately need an abrupt change of course if the United States is ever going to start making progress toward energy independence.

Fortunately, in Maine, we can start making our own progress by passing a handful of bills that are making their way through the Legislature. These are bills that would reduce our energy consumption and at the same time reduce the kind of pollution that causes our unhealthy air and contributes to global warming.

One of these bills, LD 1435, is coming up for a vote very soon. It’s a bill that would set minimum efficiency standards for the big, energy-guzzling commercial appliances like large commercial ice makers, large-package air-conditioning units, commercial freezers and refrigerators, etc. (There are 17 product categories listed in the bill.) There would be no hardship involved because it would be a gradual phaseout of the old, inefficient appliances as they are replaced with the new energy efficient models.

The economic benefits are clear; the Natural Resources Council of Maine estimates that this bill would save Maine electricity consumers $16 million a year by 2010 and double that by 2020. It would help lower bills for residential an commercial energy customers and it requires no public funding and no new taxes.

If you want to help Maine reduce its energy dependence, I hope you’ll let your legislators know that LD 1435, An Act Establishing Minimum Energy Standards for Certain Products Sold or Installed in the State, deserves their support.

Steven McAllister


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