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Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

On Tuesday, Maine voters let their voices be heard on a number of important issues.

Election Days are always exciting, and on Tuesday, I was gratified that Maine voters showed their support for job creation, innovation and economic development.

Voters approved an investment of almost $27 million dollars to advance Maine’s energy independence.

That investment, which will help to attract more than $24 million dollars in matching resources, will help our State become more energy efficient and develop new cutting-edge technology.

Paired with other federal and State, nonprofit and private resources, the investment will solidify the role of the University of Maine as a leader in the development of off-shore wind energy.

On Monday U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu will visit the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University.

The federal government -- through the hard work of Senator Collins who invited Secretary Chu to Maine, Senator Snowe, Representative Michaud and Representative Pingree – is a strong partner with our State and the University.

Together, we are working to build an offshore wind energy demonstration site in Maine waters.

The site will attract private-sector investment and help to strengthen a new industry in Maine – the manufacturing of wind energy components.

Our efforts have earned the support of the Obama administration, attracting more than $25 million dollars in grants to help develop offshore energy.

In addition, on Monday Maine joined with nine other states and the U.S. Department of Interior to establish The Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium.

This is a group that will work to streamline the review and siting process for offshore wind projects in federal waters.

It can take more than seven years for a wind project to make its way through the federal bureaucracy.

That’s too long.

Opportunities will be missed.

This group will work to reduce that time, while also making sure the process protects the environment and that development is done responsibly.

Maine has a tremendous energy resources off our coast.

The work going on today will create thousands of new jobs, and translate into a cleaner, safer energy future.

Maine is already a leader in alternative energy and conservation.

We lead New England in wind power, with 95 percent of the region’s generation capacity.

Our offshore wind resources hold incredible potential to reduce our dependency on foreign oil.

Working with a bipartisan Legislature, Maine has set aggressive goals that will put our State in control of our energy future.

But power generation is only part of the equation.

The most cost-effective way to reduce the cost of energy is to conserve.

In May, Maine was recognized for putting Recovery Act dollars to work quickly on weatherization projects.

Our State is one just one of seven to meet important requirements necessary for full funding.

Maine has weatherized more than 1,500 low-income homes under the Recovery Act, saving families on average $437 dollars a year.

The weatherization program has already created more than 160 jobs in just three months of this year.

About 80 percent of Maine’s households depend on oil for heat.

But we are making real progress to reduce this reliance.

And we’re doing it in a way that creates good jobs.

When I took office seven years ago, I made it a priority for Maine to break the stranglehold that unstable energy prices have on our economy.

We’ve established responsible rules to foster the development of new sources of renewable energy.

We have supported industry with grants that are saving jobs today, making companies more competitive and reducing pollution.

And we are setting the stage for new projects that will directly benefit Mainers.

We are seeing the benefits with investments being made in the State, new jobs and a cleaner environment.

Now, much work remains to be done, some of it will be difficult.

But we are making real progress.

Voters on Tuesday affirmed Maine’s commitment to a new energy future.

And our State will not turn back.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

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