Old News Archive

Governor and State Receive Accolades in Climate Change Action Scorecard

August 28, 2006 - TRC

AUGUSTA – Governor John Baldacci and Maine State government were recognized today by Environment Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Maine received a “B” grade for implementing policies called for in the regional Climate Change Action Plan, signed in 2001 by the New England Governors and five eastern Canadian Premiers.

Maine’s 2006 grade is the highest of any New England state, and the second highest of any state or province. Only Quebec’s “B+” was higher. Maine has improved since last year’s report, and was the only New England state to have shown an improved grade.

“Since taking office, I have set high goals for the State to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said Governor Baldacci. “I am pleased our efforts to reduce these emissions have been recognized once again. It is important to meet the aggressive targets of Maine’s Climate Change Action Plan to avert a climate crisis. We must think globally but act locally.”

The Governor was specifically recognized for a number of initiatives that have led to the progress Maine has made in reaching the Climate Change Action Plan goals. The State, noted the report, is leading by example through increased use of hybrid vehicles, using LEED standards, reducing energy consumption and use of clean energy sources. The Governor’s Carbon Challenge was also cited as a way to encourage businesses to voluntarily reduce emissions. Governor Baldacci received a Climate Champion Award from Clean Air-Cool Planet in 2005.

Earlier today, the Governor attended the celebration of the Chewonki project in Wiscasset, the first complete hydrogen energy system in Maine. The Governor signed an Executive Order at the event to facilitate the growth of additional renewable hydrogen projects and technologies here in Maine. This renewable and clean resource is one of many areas of focus of the Governor in his goal in solving the huge energy and environmental challenges facing us.

Maine has adopted greenhouse gas tailpipe standards for passenger vehicles and is also one of seven Northeast states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state program to reduce harmful climate-changing emissions from power plants. Earlier this month the participating states released a model set of regulations to implement the program.

The Governor’s energy bill, which took effect last week, put into place additional policies to further the Governor’s goal to make Maine’s air cleaner while increasing energy independence. An excise tax reduction for biodiesel, for example, is good for our economy and it is good for the environment as it promotes a fuel that can be produced from waste vegetable oil or other agricultural products. The bill also establishes a goal of increasing renewable power in Maine by 10% by 2017, and treats energy efficiency as an energy resource.

More information on the report card from Environment Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine can be found at:

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.