Governor Baldacci Says Time is Right for Alternative EnergyNovember 15, 2007 - TRCFALMOUTH – Governor John E. Baldacci said today that now is the time for Maine to capitalize on its potential to become a significant producer of renewable energy. Speaking during the opening of the E2-Tech Conference on energy and the environment, the Governor said tidal, wind and solar energy are viable remedies to the country’s dependence on foreign oil.“We need to get off the petroleum habit,” Governor Baldacci said, “and Maine is keyed up better than most states when it comes to finding alternative sources of energy.”Governor Baldacci told the group that he created a Windpower Task Force in part to bring together stakeholders in wind power and develop a consensus on how best for the state to move forward. Ultimately, the Governor said, he would like to streamline the process new wind energy projects need for approval.“We have a wonderful opportunity to do good by being good,” the Governor said. “This is something I feel strongly about. I remember what it feels like to have sales of gasoline banned on Sundays when you depend on Sunday business to survive. We shouldn’t have to go through that again.”Governor Baldacci also lauded the passage last week of a $55 million research and development bond, which will be administered through the Maine Technology Institute. The Governor said the competitively awarded grants could be used to spark new innovation related to environmental technology and renewable energy, a cluster that is likely to expand.“This is an area which will continue to grow,” the Governor said. “You’ll see more and more people and more and more businesses get involved. It’s a smart thing to do.”Governor Baldacci said that research is already being done on tidal projects Downeast and that the state has great potential in the development of wind power, bio-fuels and solar power.“We are Mainers. We can figure this out,” the Governor said. “Maine can lead by example as we have already done in so many areas. Winter is going to happen in this state every year and oil prices are not going to drop significantly anytime soon. The time to act is now.”NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.