Washington, D.C. – It’s day three of Dirty Energy Week, and President Trump welcomed the governors of Maine and Nebraska, among others, to the White House to discuss energy in their states. Like Trump, several of these governors are standing in the way of clean energy progress – and the good-paying jobs energy innovation creates.
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In Maine, residents are working to build a veto-proof majority to pass a bill to expand the state’s solar industry. Governor Paul LePage vetoed a similar proposal last year, despite strong bipartisan support for solar energy in the state legislature.
“Despite bipartisan support for solar energy, Governor LePage continues to stand in the way of Mainers who want to invest in solar and build our own clean energy economy,” said Beth Ahearn, political director of Maine Conservation Voters. “Gov. LePage and President Trump’s dirty energy policy protects big polluters at the expense of Mainers who want to take charge of their energy decisions and generate homegrown, renewable solar power. Under Gov. LePage, Maine is dead last for solar jobs in New England. Instead of investing in solar energy to create jobs, lower electricity bills and protect the health of hardworking families, the Trump-LePage agenda puts corporations above all else.”
Nebraskans are working to expand the state’s wind energy industry – which lags behind 16 other states, despite Nebraska ranking in the top four states for wind energy potential. Neighboring Iowa’s largest utility is aiming to reach 100 percent renewable energy, yet Nebraska is still hovering around 10 percent.
“Governor Ricketts should be a champion of wind energy; it can grow our economy and provide much needed property tax relief. Additionally, more than three-quarters of Nebraskans support expanding wind energy in our state,” said Eliot Bostar, Executive Director of the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters. “But under Governor Ricketts’ leadership, we’re still operating under yesterday’s energy policy. It’s time to catch up with states like Iowa and harness Nebraska’s homegrown wind energy potential.”
Governor Kim Reynolds of Iowa also attended today’s meeting, which should have been awkward given recent backlash over Trump’s insults to the state’s wind energy industry. Trump ridiculed wind energy at an event in Cedar Rapids last week, but The Des Moines Register says wind “has long been a bipartisan point of pride.”