ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

By SUSAN M. COVER
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- An additional assessment on electric bills would help an already successful program do even better, supporters of an energy efficiency measure said Thursday.

Opponents said it would hurt businesses and customers.

An assessment that generates money for the state's Efficiency Maine program would increase to three-tenths of a cent per kilowatt hour by 2009, under a bill being considered by the Utilities and Energy Committee.

[url=http://kennebecjournal.mainetoday.com/news/local/2419073.shtml]TAX ME TO DEATH[/url]

Slingblade
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Last I heard, how about a tax of 1 1/2 cents per kilowatt.
Why do we have to pay for energy conservation? Aren't we supposed to save money?
I sponsored a Tea Party in Windham last year, guess it's time to have one at the State House.
No, come to think of it, let's have a freakin' big one at the Blaine House.

Thomas O
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Stop adding new taxes and maybe I could AFFORD to replace my appliances!
[quote]A dairy farmer, a developer, college students and others told lawmakers that the state's Efficiency Maine program works.[/quote]
TWO business people, 'college students' and [i]others[/i] are supposed to convince me that this program is a success?
Oh yeah, I'M sold...

Editor
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Another program for drawing down federal "matching dollars."

http://www.efficiencymaine.com/

skf

democrat
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No matching dollars

Efficiency Maine does not get federal dollars. It's entire budget comes from a tax on electricity delivery. The proposal is to double the tax and double the budget of this state agency. Efficiency Maine's budget already went up 20% this year and will increase 50% in the next three years - even without this tax increase according to testimony. By the way, CMP's customers have been paying more than everyone else for about 20 years. The PUC didn't want to subject everyone else to "rate shock" by increasing their tax. Of course the farmer liked the program. The state gave him your money to buy stuff so he could save money. He says thank you.

Naran
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

They just don't quit, do they? I predict riots over this new tax. Our electric rates have almost tripled since last year. For many, it's the final straw in that teetering financial burden.

I heard a solid rumor that Balderdash will be at the heating fundraiser we're working today. If he does show up, I sincerely hope I manage to restrain myself from coating him in chocolate and rolling him in sprinkles, with the wooden stick in the appropriate orifice.

Let's see - what would that be, in candy-making terms? A Tootsie Log? A Johnny with Jimmies? *sigh*

Wish me luck on the self-restraint. :twisted:

democrat
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Good luck Naran. Your electric company manager, Sharon Staz, spoke eloquently against this tax.

Naran
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Demo, thanks for the info. I think Sharon has done a fabulous job trying to help the residents hit hardest by the new rates. I've been working with her trying to help those here who need it the most, and she has demonstrated compassion along with good business sense; a rare combination. I wish we had more like her.

Slingblade
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Oh Naran, shame on you! And I would if I could stop laughing.
Baldacci covered with a stick stuck in your know where?
Let's, see, **** on a stick?
I'd better not go there.

Naran
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

I know, great visual, isn't it?? :wink:

We got lucky today, he wasn't there! Thank goodness.

Editor
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

democrat -

Perhaps you can explain this section from the legislation authorizing this program.

_____

LD 420 An Act to Strengthen Energy Conservation

5. [b]Conservation program fund.[/b] The commission shall establish a conservation program fund to be used solely for conservation purposes.

D. The commission may apply for and receive grants from state, federal, and private sources for deposit in the program fund and also may deposit in the program fund any grants or other funds received by or from any entity with which the commission has an agreement or contract.....

skf

democrat
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RINO ALERT

Editor, You will find that language in a number of laws that authorize various agencies. The fact that an agency or fund can accept grants from the feds or outside agencies or private citizens doesn't mean that the agency will get any money from those sources. In fact, I believe that Efficiency Maine has given money to other funds, including the new Warm Me Up (or whatever they call it) fund. Efficiency Maine is funded entirely from the tax on electricity delivery, a tax that Sen. Bartlett wants to double. By the way, only one Republican signed onto this tax increase - Rep. Curley of Scarborough. Does that make her a RINO?

democrat
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RINO ALERT

Editor, You will find that language in a number of laws that authorize various agencies. The fact that an agency or fund can accept grants from the feds or outside agencies or private citizens doesn't mean that the agency will get any money from those sources. In fact, I believe that Efficiency Maine has given money to other funds, including the new Warm Me Up (or whatever they call it) fund. Efficiency Maine is funded entirely from the tax on electricity delivery, a tax that Sen. Bartlett wants to double. By the way, only one Republican signed onto this tax increase - Rep. Curley of Scarborough. Does that make her a RINO?

Anonymous
Tackling tough specifics

Gov. Baldacci said the right things last week about energy.

Now, will he back that up with support for specific projects - some of them controversial - that could help reduce the state's dependence on fossil fuels?

On Wednesday, the governor introduced an energy plan that places greater emphasis on alternative sources of energy: wind power and biodiesel fuels, among others. He also said he supports new efficiency standards for appliances that don't already have them.

The goal is to increase the use of renewable energy by 10 percent over the next decade.

It's a worthy goal, one that we support.

[url=http://www.sunjournal.com/blogs/blog_detail.php?id=25190&logid=7]DA SPIN[/url]

democrat
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

One of the more "controversial" aspects of his proposal is to allow the MPUC to order utilities to sign long term contracts with renewable energy developers. We tried this under Brennan in the 80's and it cost Maine people 5 billion dollars. We still owe hundreds of millions on those contracts. Let's hope he's got a better plan this time.

Anonymous
ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

A friend of mine became rich ~ very very rich by selling electricity under the Brennen Regime.

democrat
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Your friend has lots of company.

Doug Thomas
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Make no mistake this is just another tax that will drive more business and more jobs from Maine.

Roger Ek
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

There is a good proven hydroelectric site just above Augusta that could be developed. Having a ponded site there would improve property values along the Kennebec and reduce danger of flooding.

There is another good site at Dickey on the Saint John River. Big Ambajackmockamus Falls on the West Branch is a good site. Maine has lots of good sites for hydro. All it would take is action instead of study groups and words.

landry
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Again, I would like to ask. When will the people of Maine decide enough is enough?
Bud

democrat
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Some of the sites that you name cannot be developed without legislative approval. The state adopted a river classification system in the 80's that named some of those sites off limits to dams. Interestingly, even if some of those sites could be developed, they would not qualify as renewable energy sources under the latest proposal. Hydropower could not be considered renewable if it's too big. Hydro Quebec energy cannot be considered renewable now, because the dams are too big. Such is the power of the environmental lobby;they decide what's renewable and what isn't. The proposal also says that biomass from construction debris is not renewable, but municipal trash plants are renewable. :roll:

Anonymous
ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

After all the money we spent tearing down dams now we want to rebuild them? Well, this is a make wurk state...

Country
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

[quote="Editor"]Perhaps you can explain this section from the legislation authorizing this program.

skf[/quote]

It was §3211-A of the MRSA that authorized this program. Parts of LD 1931 go beyond the original statute and I was prepared to address that during the hearing, as well as propose some measures that might improve Efficiency Maine. Such as...

[quote]If energy efficiency improvements on school district or municipal buildings will yield a pay-back in one to three years, those improvements should be funded by the taxpayers of that school district or that municipality. This also applies to new building construction. This is only in the best interests of the taxpayers and will yield benefits for many years to come; especially as energy costs increase.

and... Out of Efficiency Maine’s program, a revolving loan fund could be set up for homeowners and small businesses unable to fund efficiency capital improvements on their own. These loans would be repaid at some schedule that approximated the dollars saved by the improvements.[/quote]

The latter would have addressed concerns raised, particularly by Maitland Richardson, as to why receipients of grants shouldn't repay them as they (according to their testimony) have saved considerable money.

Unfortunately, the hearing was so poorly run by Chairman Bliss that I left in disgust at 5:30 without presenting. The hearing got underway about 1:10 with a packed hearing room. Bliss asked all those wishing to testify to raise their hands. Many did. Bliss then announced that since so many wished to speak on this that they should [u]speak no more than five minutes, not read from their written tesimony, and not go off topic.[/u]

I was prepared to do that. To my great disappointment, Bliss did not enorce the rules he laid down, and speakers read from written testimony, spoke for much more than five minutes, and wandered all over the place. The only person I can remember who spoke that stuck to the rules was David Allen from CMP. He was in the hallway outside the hearing room when I departed without speaking. He asked, "You're leaving?" I said, "I've f**king had it!" That was my level of frustration in how the hearing had been run.

I was there to speak "neither for, nor against" the bill." When I asked Bliss when those of us in that category would get our chance he told me it would be when all the "fors" and "againsts" were done. There were so many speaking in favor of, or against, the bill that rounds were set up, five and six at a time. I thought maybe those of us not falling into either camp would find an opportunity to speak at the end of each round. Not so. Bliss was putting us at the very end.

One would think, perhaps misguidedly, that if someone had spent the better part of a day preparing testimony for the committee, that was meant to inform rather than only to present one side or the other (and then spent the greater part of a day in a hearing room) that such testimony would be welcomed. Instead it seemed deemed irrelevant. Bliss is utterly incompentant to run any meeting beyond that of a pack of cub scouts.

But, I do think the Efficiency Maine program is a good one. It just needs some modifications and tuning up.

Apollo
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Has anyone been to Home Depot lately? The state is forcing them to put up little "Efficiency Maine" signs all over the place. Baldacci says buy some flourescent bulbs and it will solve all of our energy problems. What a dumb ass.

Country
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Apollo, I've been to Home Depot (Rockland) recently and didn't any Efficiency Maine signs. In fact, I wondered why there weren't any. Flourescent bulbs will help save energy and the payback is less than a year.

Apollo
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

I was at the one in South Portland near the mall.

Anonymous
ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

Marxism & Socialism are good buddies in the Baldacci administration.

Get em out of theah NOW.

Country
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

[quote="Paul Mattson"]Marxism & Socialism are good buddies in the Baldacci administration.

Get em out of theah NOW.[/quote]

You ever think about staying on topic?

angler.k
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

I wrote a letter to the editor of the Lewiston Sun Journal the first time the efficency law went through. It didn't get published (amazing!). I still say instead of worrying about the kw my toaster or celing fan uses they should spend their time figuring out how to tax me less. We're all smart enough to know that if we buy an appliance that uses less energy we save money. We don't need the government to tell us, and we don't need them to spend our tax dollars to limit our choices.

democrat
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ANOTHER TAX! Sides drawn over efficiency 'tax'

It was even worse than country explained. This bill was one of three scheduled in that room that day. Over four dozen people arrived well before the 1:00 start time to speak on a different bill, but the chairs decided to put that one at the end of the schedule. After keeping them waiting for four hours, the chairs announced that the hearing on that bill was postponed, and sent them all home. Some of those people drove from Lincoln for the hearing. Poor planning, poor execution.

Editor
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kennebec journal EFFICIENCY

kennebec journal
EFFICIENCY MAINE TRUST
March 8
Charting a new way forward
By Ethan Wilensky-Lanford - Staff Writer


Michael Stoddard

...New England governors/[Canadaian] premiers.., pledged to lower the region's [CO2] emissions to 1990 levels by 2010.

That goal hasn’t been reached. In 2006, author [Michael Stoddard] of a report -- Climate Change Roadmap for New England/Eastern Canada -- ...explained how this region can meet its emissions aims.

Michael Stoddard, will take charge of a new state authority -- the Efficiency Maine Trust -- that plans to...help the region reach its carbon emissions goals.

http://www.kjonline.com/news/group-aims-to-chart-new-way-forward_2010-03...
Source

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