Energy in Maine the focus of a new paper by UMaine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center

Feb. 16, 2012

Contact: Ron Lisnet, 581-3779

Media Advisory

The status of energy production and use in Maine, and the major components of the state’s energy policy are summarized in a new paper published today by the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine. “Energy in Maine,” written by Catherine Dickerson, a research associate at UMaine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, focuses on energy consumption and production in Maine, the state’s energy options, and its strengths and needs. The 34-page paper also outlines major considerations for Maine, including energy development as an economic development opportunity; investments in education, training and infrastructure to address changes in the state’s current energy mix; and evaluation of the inherent trade-offs in relation to overall policy goals. “When determining energy policy and the best course of action for Maine, the considerations begin with defining Maine as it pertains to energy needs: Is it industry? Is it the retail sector, including tourism? Is it the residents?” writes Dickerson. “There are other considerations well: Who is Maine competing with for economic development and how do the costs and types of energy come into play? Is a comparison to the rest of New England valid? Or is an assessment relative to other states with similar industries and per capita income the best approach? Should Maine compare itself to states with similar populations and levels of education? “All of these areas are intertwined, and understanding how best to address each area individually and as a whole will help provide the framework needed to make energy decisions that are best for Maine,” according to Dickerson.

Copies of “Energy in Maine” as well as a report brief are available on the Margaret Chase Smith Center website by following this link.

The Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center at the University of Maine, established in 1989, is a nonpartisan, independent research and public service unit of the University of Maine. The center is dedicated to improving and promoting the quality of public dialogue about state, regional and national policy issues through applied policy research and projects that seek innovative solutions to practical problems. The interdisciplinary research cuts across departmental lines and brings together faculty and external policy experts to address issues confronting the state and nation.