Reducing Energy Costs, Transforming Our Economy, and Leading Again on the Environment

“I have no doubt that clean energy leadership is one crucial, generational opportunity for Maine to go from a lagging to leading when it comes to creating jobs, raising incomes, and creating smart, progressive economic growth.” – Democratic gubernatorial candidate and energy entrepreneur Adam Cote

Where we stand today: Lagging on jobs, economic growth, and sending billions out of state on energy

  • Maine lags New England and the country on job, income, and economic growth.
  • While Maine’s Gross Domestic Product only grew by 3% from 2011-2016, New England’s grew twice as fast (6%) and the country’s grew more than three times as fast (10%).
  • Maine took several years longer to regain the jobs lost during the Great Recession. If Maine had kept pace with New England we would have more than 5,000 additional jobs today – and if we had kept pace with the country, we would have more than 28,000 additional jobs. 
  • In 2015 almost 4 billion dollars left Maine to pay for things like home heating oil and natural gas to generate electricity for homes and businesses. This does not include the costs of gasoline and transportation fuels, which take billions more out of Mainers pockets.

Jobs: Clean energy sector is creating jobs faster than any other and Maine could create thousands

  • Multiple studies and data from the U.S. Department of Labor confirms the clean energy sector is now creating new jobs faster than almost any other sector in the American economy.
  • With the right leadership, studies show Maine is could grow thousands of good jobs. A study last November said offshore wind, which Maine can lead on, will create 36,000 jobs in the Northeast by 2030. Another example: Massachusetts, which supports growth of solar power, has 15,000 solar jobs to Maine’s 400 jobs in Maine today, where the governor has stopped solar.

Leadership: Adam Cote is the only candidate for governor with broad experience on clean energy

  • Cote has a 17-year career as a clean energy entrepreneur and has worked in energy storage technology, solar, wind, and tidal power to name a few.
  • In 2013, Cote was recognized by President Obama as one of 12 “Champions of Change” nationally for his work as “a veteran working to advance clean energy and climate security.” 

The Plan: Generate enough clean energy to meet more than 100% of Maine’s energy needs in ten years

  • Continue to invest in efficiency
  • Work regionally to fund efficiency and reduce pollution
  • Increase Maine’s clean energy generation capacity
  • Reduce costs for Mainers by pushing for time of use smart metering
  • Make Maine one of the first states with real smart grid infrastructure
  • Invest in clean energy workforce training so Mainers get good jobs
  • Grow Maine’s R&D capacity at the University of Maine and other institutions
  • Actively pursue clean energy businesses and investment through consistent, professional conduct

Energy & Environment: Two parts of one agenda for building a healthy, prosperous Maine

  • Environmental health priorities:
    • Improving our air quality by reducing carbon pollution and holding upwind states accountable under the Clean Air Act.
    • Helping more rural families screen for and control arsenic in wells.
    • Improving and protecting our cities’ drinking water. 
    • Expanding lead screening to cover all Maine schools and all Maine children. 
    • Moving consumer products from toxic and disposable to clean and durable. 
    • Working with federal and other partners to address Lyme and other diseases that result from our changing world.     
  • Conservation Priorities
    • Partner with and support rural economies and recreation, tourism, traditional sports economies to do a better job of promoting Maine as the premier travel destination
    • Strong support for clean water and healthy fish populations, including supporting the Obama EPA views regarding clean water standards required to meet Native American sustenance fishing rights
    • Restoring Maine’s conservation programs and hiring exceptional leaders to run them
    • Champion a strong Land for Maine’s Future program, which has been such a success in every way
    • Work with all stakeholders, especially Maine fishermen, women and communities to work towards the longterm health of the Gulf of Maine when it comes to issues like warming, acidification, etc.
    • Make all parts of Maine state government become leaders on sustainability and resilience on everything from infrastructure planning to state investments and planning