Document Type



Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

Right now, our country is in an unusual position.

We are beginning to recover from the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression.

There are good indicators that things are starting to improve, at least on the national level.

But the scars of the recession are healing slowly, especially in the states.

Maine is no different.

We saw some positive signs from the Recovery Act and the Cash for Clunkers program, and it appears that our real estate market is slowly improving.

But State revenues are continuing to fall short of projections, and we haven’t seen job growth we would expect with a recovery.

More than ever, our State must focus on creating a good environment for businesses to grow, expand and prosper.

I believe the very best social program is a good job.

And that’s why I’m proud of the work that’s going on in Maine right now.

Last year, working with the Maine Legislature, we lowered the State’s top income tax rate from 8.5 to 6.5 percent for people making less than $250,000 a year.

The change not only helps working Mainers, but it also helps many of the State’s small business and will encourage investment in Maine.

The move won accolades from the Walk Street Journal and the Tax Foundation.

We have also expanded our State’s economic development programs, like Pine Tree Zones, which will help attract new and growing businesses to the State.

And we have been recognized nationally for our efforts to redevelop Brunswick Naval Air Station.

And we are working continually to improve opportunities for Mainers to learn the skills they need to be successful in a changing economy.

But creating a good environment for job growth takes even more.

We have to foster an attitude in Maine that we are open and ready for business.

That’s why I led a trade mission to Europe in September that included the Ivy League of Maine businesses.

We went to Europe to show that Maine is serious about growing new jobs in expanding fields, such as renewable energy.

Maine has tremendous potential to become an international leader in the renewable energy sector.

We’ve been blessed with abundant natural resources, and the research going on at the University of Maine puts us in an excellent position for success.

Already, Maine produces 95 percent of the wind power in New England and has developed a regulatory environment that is strong, stable and predictable.

But our future is not guaranteed.

That’s why it’s important that we fight for every job we can.

That means protecting the jobs that we have, and bringing new jobs home.

And that’s why we must reach out and develop relationships that will help us develop the technologies we need for success.

In Oakfield, Maine, we see a good example of how new ideas can delivery real benefits.

This week, the town overwhelmingly approved the development of a 34-turbine wind farm.

The votes came during a special town meeting in which voters also rejected a moratorium on wind projects.

Oakfield made the right decision.

The project will generate enough electricity to power more than 20,000 homes.

But the agreement also means a new fire station for the town, road improvements and a scholarship fund for students from the town who attend a Maine college or university.

This is the sort of economic development that will pay dividends for years to come, benefitting local taxpayers, students and making our country more energy independent.

If we want to grow jobs and grow our economy, we have to be ready when opportunity knocks.

In Maine, we are committed to charting a course for economic prosperity that protects our most important assets: our people and our natural resources.

We will always protect the things that make our State strong: Our clean water and air, our open spaces, and our commitment to the environment.

And we can do it in a way that reduces our dependency on foreign oil and reduces pollution.

If we want good things to happen, we’re going to have to make them happen.

I can see a Maine, not too far into the future, that leads the nation in onshore and offshore wind power generation and renewable power generation.

Where technologies developed right here are put to work around the world.

Where good jobs and growing industries call Maine home.

I have seen what’s happening in other places, and I know we have the people to do it better here.

We have tough days ahead of us.

But we will recover and we will grow.

The foundation is being set right now for a greener, more prosperous Maine.

Thank you and have a good weekend.

Exact Creation Date






Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "Save As"



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

No Copyright - United States. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/NoC-US/1.0/
The organization that has made the Item available believes that the Item is in the Public Domain under the laws of the United States, but a determination was not made as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. The Item may not be in the Public Domain under the laws of other countries. Please refer to the organization that has made the Item available for more information.