Document Type



This is Governor John Baldacci.

This week I received a report from a special task force, which was formed to develop ideas on how Maine could best reduce the impact of high energy prices this winter.

Maine faces a dangerous winter.

With the price of heating oil already above $4.60 a gallon -- higher in some places -- many families will face a tough winter season, filled with difficult choices.

The seven short-term recommendations put forth this week will help us to be better prepared, and will help to keep Mainers safe and secure this winter.

Among the recommendations are to:

Create a single point of entry for Mainers seeking information about energy programs and services;

Expand weatherization of Maine residences;

Increase energy audits of homes and businesses;

Provide people statewide education and training or what they can do to prepare for the upcoming winter;

Expanding energy efficiency financing tools for hospitals, schools, nursing homes, municipalities, social service agencies and businesses;

Increasing transportation options, reducing fuel consumption;

Creating local teams that will help keep people safe, secure and warm in their homes.

Of the ideas, I am particularly committed to the first.

We have already begun building the system that will allow someone who calls the State’s 2-1-1 information line to be immediately connected with a specialist who can help them get the energy information they need.

Included in this one-stop-shopping approach to energy assistance will be a tracking system that will make sure people get answers quickly.

Once implemented, folks who apply for an energy efficiency loan or a fuel assistance request will have their application processed within 30 days.

And I will also work to develop an action plan moving forward based on the work of the Task Force.

It’s gratifying that so many people – with so much expertise – volunteered their time to help develop the report. The Task Force has done a tremendous amount of work in a very short time.

In addition to the recommendations of the Task Force there were subcommittees and included in those subcommittee reports was a great amount of information and some bold ideas.

I am going to study those reports closely as we continue to move toward a more secure energy future for Maine.

In the long-term, Maine must reduce its consumption – as the country must reduce its consumption -- of oil, and we must develop alternative energy resources. And we must also take the necessary steps to reduce our dependency on oil and gasoline.

Already, much is been done to conserve energy and to help Mainer’s reduce their consumption.

The State is leading by example in the fact that we have reduced the number of miles state workers travel each year.

We’ve increased the number of hybrid vehicles in the State fleet to more than 80.

And we’ve raised the average fuel economy of State cars and trucks to almost 28 miles per gallon.

By adding biodiesel to the fuel mix for State buildings, we’re saving about 13,000 gallons of Number 2 heating oil every year. And in the first three years of my administration, we have saved over 143,000 gallons of heating fuel through investment and conservation.

Maine purchases 100 percent of its electricity for State buildings from renewable energy resources, which makes us unique among the States.

I know that there’s a lot of anxiety about oil prices and I share that frustration and anxiety. And I know that expectations of government solutions are high.

But there is only so much government can do. There’s no magic pile of money we can tap to pay everyone’s oil bill, and we can’t force prices to drop.

But what we can do is to offer a helping hand to the poorest amongst us, empowering people to improve their own situations, and to make sure the programs we have are used effectively and efficiently, and prepare in case there’s a real emergency.

Maine has an abundant natural resource base that can reduce our dependency on costly foreign oil. We must continue to grow our wind power industry, support advancements in tidal, solar and wood energy and biofuels.

We have survived energy crunches in the past, and we will survive this one.

It is my hope that this will lead the country toward a path of energy independence.

The transition will take time. But we can do it.

Maine can’t wait to tackle this problem. We have to begin working today and while it’s still warm outside, we can be better prepared when cold weather arrives.

I know the spirit of Maine, and I know what our people are capable of.

Together, taking care of our neighbors and ourselves, we will get through this difficult winter ahead.

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.