The Maine House today voted to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a sweeping energy bill. The bill is aimed at cutting energy costs by providing incentives for conservation and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
The House voted 121-11 to override the veto. "This is a big victory for the people of Maine, who will see their energy costs go down and efficiency increase," says Saco Rep. Barry Hobbins, in a statement. Hobbins, a Democrat, is House chair of the Legislature's Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.
Supporters say the measure is expected to generate $365 million in savings through conservation. It also increases the infrastructure for lower-cost natural gas, and allows incentives for Mainers to switch.
LePage said he opposed the bill because it allows the Maine Public Utilities to determine what to charge ratepayers in their monthly electricity bills for efficiency programs. He also complained that the bill prevented the University of Maine from competing for offshore wind development. Supporters say the bill contains a provision that would allow the university to compete.
The Senate is expected to vote on the override next week.