News : Growing a Greener Economy

Jul 29, 2009

Featured in Portland Press Herald

Maine's evolving vision of an economy powered by energy efficiency and sustainable development could get a boost from President-elect Barack Obama's energy policies, business owners, interest groups and government officials say.

A comprehensive energy plan promoted during Obama's campaign set a goal of creating 5 million "green collar" jobs over 10 years by investing $150 billion in clean energy ventures.

Strategies include weatherizing 1 million homes a year, generating 10 percent of the nation's electricity from renewable sources by 2012, and a national program to reduce emissions linked to climate change.

It's unclear whether money to support this broad agenda will materialize in the midst of a financial crisis and ongoing wars. Political battles over proposed funding sources, such as a windfall profits tax on oil companies, also are likely. But the goals, at least, are in line with existing policies in New England, and with a long-range state energy plan and legislative package being prepared this fall by the Baldacci administration. To read more click here.