Green Crony Corporatists Are Obstacles to Lowering Energy Bills, Cleaning Environment

3/28/18, by James LaBrecque,

*Editor Note*

Maine First Media asked The Governor’s Technical Advisor on Energy, James LaBrecque his opinion on House Democrats voting against lifting caps on clean and cheap Canadian hydropower.

You can read more details on the bill and the vote by clicking here.

Click here to see an “At-A-Glance” roll call of the vote provided by our friends at Maine First Project.

Read below for Mr. LaBrecque’s answer.

 

Democrats – Still Big Oil And lobbyist’s Best Friend for draining Maine’s Economy Into The Pockets of Foreign Corporations and Forgetting About Reducing CO2

Maine uses 100-Times more oil for heat and transportation than to make electricity. For every $2.00 we pay towards a gallon of oil that leaves the State, $17.00/MMBtu (million British Thermal Units) disappears from Maine’s economy into the pockets of oil companies.

Buying clean hydropower from our northern neighbors and paying 6-Cents a kilowatt to run high-efficiency heating systems here in Maine, keeps $11.00 of that $17. 00 in our economy. It doesn’t take long for us poor Mainer’s to fill the pockets of big corporations with a quarter-billion-dollars of cash.

My name is James LaBrecque; I am the Governor’s Technical Advisor on Energy. My first involvement with Hydro Quebec (HQ) was back in 1987 when CMP wanted to install a power line from the Canadian border down through Franklin County (Jay, Farmington, etc. area). State Representative Conrad Heeschen (D) was a State Energy Committee member back then and a spokesman for No Thank Q Hydro-Quebec, a group formed to oppose CMP’s power line.

According to a New York Times, January 15, 1989, story; Heeschen stated that “cutting through the heart of some of the last remaining wild lands would be a real travesty.”

Heeschen’ s group of group-think people who opposed one power line coming through Franklin County back then — do not oppose a cobweb of power lines and transmission lines cutting through all the area mountains today to support wind.

Maine uses far more energy for heat and transportation than for electricity. We would need to more than double all our present electrical generators if we wanted to displace our oil use with electricity. The question is, where will Maine get all its energy to generate the electricity needed to displace oil if we don’t tap into the 30+ equivalent nuclear power plants of clean hydropower from Canada.

A Democrat’s vote against Canadian Hydro, is a vote for big oil. They can’t say they are going to use solar and wind anymore because the facts are out that that’s a big lie. A solar panel produces less than two whiskey shot jiggers of oil a day, and most of that is generated in the summer months when we don’t use much oil for heat. Forgetting solar as a replacement for oil leaves us with wind. To displace oil with wind to heat just Maine homes that heat only with oil, the wind industry would have to install 755 Mars Hill wind mountains throughout Maine. That’s 47 mountains in each of Maine’s 16 counties.

The oil industry has vigorously opposed heat pumps because of their substantial impact on reducing home heating oil. The oil industry is friendly to solar and wind because it has no impact on reducing Maine’s oil use.

When it comes to CO2, Maine is an oil state, not an electric state. Maine has the 4th cleanest electricity in the country and uses more oil per capita for heat and transportation than any other state in the union. Buying expensive solar and wind electricity to displace the 4th cleanest electricity in the country results in a very high cost per unit of CO2 reduction.

On the other hand, using Maine’s clean electricity to run high-efficiency heat pumps that displace oil is eight times more cost-effective. In other words, for every million dollars invested in heat pumps, you would need to buy 8-Million dollars of solar panels to save the same amount of CO2.

 

*Editor Note*

Mr. LaBrecque has many ideas on lowering energy costs for Mainers in environmentally friendly ways.

He was recently a guest on the George Hale and Rick Tyler show on WVOM where he discussed some of these ideas. His interview is in two parts; you can listen to part one here, and part two here.

According to Mr. LaBrecque, Gov. Paul LePage has three rules for energy policy:

  1. Lower the cost of energy in Maine;
  2. Do no harm to the environment;
  3. Energy policies should be fuel agnostic.

In addition to his comments, the Governor’s Special Advisor on Energy also shared some compelling statistics with Maine First Media:

  • Displacing ONLY Maine’s oil heated residential homes with wind energy would require 755 Mars Hill Mountains worth of windmills;
  • Maine uses about 100-Times more oil for heat and transportation than for electric generation;
  • Only three states in the country have cleaner electricity generation than Maine;
  • Only 10% of Maine’s carbon footprint comes from generating electricity.
  • Maine uses more oil per capita for heat and transportation than any other state.
  • When it comes to CO2, Maine is an oil state; expensive wind farms that displace our clean electricity do very little to nothing to reduce oil or CO2 emissions.

Mr. LaBrecque asks proponents of massive subsidies and sweetheart regulations for wind energy to answer these five questions:

  1. What is the specific number of Maine mountaintops should wind industry be allowed to blow up?
  2. Can you identify each of these mountains on our state map?
  3. Can you lay out a plan on the map where all the distribution and transmission lines will be placed?
  4. Can you provide a detailed cost analysis and financial impact statement to ratepayers and taxpayers?
  5. Can you provide proof of local public support for each project?

  • Democrats of the Maine Legislature are a curious bunch.

    Their energy policy leader is Seth Berry who has been scratching his head as to why electric rates are going up in Maine.

    He is so puzzled he sponsored a bill ” proposing to establish a task force to examine the cost of the delivery of electricity to homes and businesses in this State and the factors that may cause this cost to rise”………

    “The task force would include among its members representatives of consumers, producers, electric utilities, the Governor’s Energy Office, the Public Utilities Commission and the Office of the Public Advocate and Legislators. ”

    Well the Public Utilities Commission requested out.

    The Governor’s Energy Office requested out.

    But, the NRCM requested in.

    I guess it’s hard to come to the reality that in 2008 when Berry was on the energy committee that produced the Wind Energy Act and the $1.4 billion dollar Maine Power Reliability Transmission upgrade project, that such things as wind projects and huge transmission projects would cost money.

    Not to mention the expansion of the Renewable Portfolio Standards, the expansion of the Efficiency Maine Trust or the expanding carbon tax program, RGGI

    All these costs are enumerated on the PUC website

    So, I ask: why do all the democrats continue to kowtow to Berry’s position on energy ?

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