WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, 13 Maine-based organizations and two members of the Maine State Legislature delivered a letter demanding improved and expanded electric power transmission to Maine’s U.S. Senator Angus King. Senator King is an influential member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee, which has oversight over critical transmission infrastructure across the nation.
Current transmission policies leave nearly 2,000 gigawatts of clean energy, enough to power all the United States in 2022, awaiting connection to the grid. As a result of logistical permitting bottlenecks, clean energy installations decreased by 15% in 2022. Community and business leaders called on Senator King to streamline the transmission and interconnection process by supporting policies that:
- Establish a fair Long-Term Regional Transmission Cost Allocation Method and a set of clear transmission benefits to a region;
- Promote the modernization of grid infrastructure that leverages the latest technologies in interregional electric transmission and clean, affordable energy;
- Relieve grid congestion and promote more efficient grid planning by requiring transmission planners to make long-term reliability assessments, including scenarios with high usage of renewables;
- Require planners to consider non-wires alternatives and instead use existing electric line infrastructure to avoid building new capital. Reducing the need for new rights of way can help avoid environmental and community impacts that delay project permitting;
- Promote environmental justice by incorporating the McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act and securing careers for workers in frontline and energy communities.
“The need and urgency for transmission improvements cannot be overstated,” said Quentin Scott, the Federal Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund. “If we don’t address the transmission bottlenecks, we will miss our clean energy goal of 80% by 2030. According to two new studies, 64% of the American people agree clean energy should be a high priority for the president and Congress. The American people are clear they want cleaner energy and demand Congress rise to the occasion to implement transformative policies that will accelerate the deployment of clean energy.”
The delivery of this letter is a step in CCAN Action Fund’s endeavor to raise awareness about transmission’s essential role in the clean energy revolution. CCAN Action Fund is committed to its goal of 100% clean energy by 2035, and will continue to advocate for improved transmission so that clean, renewable energy is accessible for all.
The elected officials and organizations that signed the letter include: Representatives Margaret O’Neil and Rebecca Millet of the Maine Legislature; the Androscoggin Valley Soil & Water Conservation District; Center for an Ecology-Based Economy; Cleantech Adoption LLC; Independent Power and Renewable Energy LLC; Maine Audubon, Maine Composites Alliance; Maine Conservation Voters; Maine Grid Works, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network; Maine Youth Action; Natural Resources Council of Maine,; ReVision Energy; Sierra Club Maine Chapter.
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The Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) Action Fund is dedicated to driving change in public policies at the local, state and national level to address the climate crisis. Through voter education, lobbying, and participation in the electoral process, we seek to advance our country’s leadership in the global movement towards clean energy solutions — focusing our efforts primarily in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC. We know that a vibrant democracy is central to our success so we work to defend democratic integrity wherever we can.