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In his weekly radio address, Governor Paul LePage of Maine discussed the state's energy situation. In one section, he talked about the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard.

Unfortunately, Maine’s renewable energy mandate will raise electricity prices by $145 million and cost Mainers nearly 1000 jobs. It is because Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, often referred to as RPS, requires that some of the state’s electricity be generated by expensive "renewable" sources, like wind power and solar. The problem I have with this methodology is other green energy sources like hydropower are left out of the mix. Hydropower is clean and readily available in Maine. More importantly, it is inexpensive and can save Mainers a lot of money.

This is similar to the policies of Washington state and California. All of these states have large hydroelectric resources, but do not count hydro power as renewable. (In California, hydro generators smaller than 30 MW can be included in the RPS, but only if certain environmental restrictions are followed.)

If they were really serious about producing clean energy, it wouldn't be a Renewable Standard in the first place. It would be a Clean Energy Standard, which would include nuclear, along with large hydro and the traditional renewables. But you won't see the major environmental organizations discuss the possibility of seeing nuclear in a positive light until the CO2 concentration is well above 400 ppm, and they begin to wonder why the existing green energy mandates haven't worked.

- Pete
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