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DISCLAIMER: This blog is published for general information only - it is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice. While we welcome you to contact our authors, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you.

Friday
Feb152019

Governor Mills Lifts Wind Power Moratorium

On Thursday, Governor Mills issued an Executive Order lifting a moratorium on new wind energy permits. Former Governor Paul LePage issued the moratorium in January 2018 and created a Maine Wind Energy Advisory Commission to study the economic impact of wind turbines on tourism and local communities.

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Wednesday
Feb062019

An Interview with ME PUC Chair, Commissioners, and Former Chair

Sourced from Steve Mitnick, Public Utilities Fortnightly, “A Day (Two Actually) at the Maine PUC” (January 2019).

In this posting, I summarize a recent series of interviews with the current Maine PUC Chair, Commissioners, and Chair Emeritus, Tom Welch. The interviews appeared in the January 2019 edition of Public Utilities Fortnightly. All of the interviewees had strong praise and admiration for the hard-working and dedicated staff at the PUC.

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Tuesday
Jan222019

Times are Changing: Verrill Dana Hosts Full-Day Conference, 2019 Annual Employment Law Update

After a year full of changes for employers paired with a new governor in Maine, Verrill Dana will reflect on recent legal developments in labor and employment law and what the new year might bring during its 2019 Annual Employment Law Update. The full-day conference will take place on Thursday, January 31 at The Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland.

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Wednesday
Jan022019

Net-metering News from Maine and California

On December 17, 2018, the Maine PUC exempted medium and large non-residential customer classes of CMP and Emera from compliance with the Commission’s net energy billing provisions in Chapter 313, section 3(f), which require measurement of a customer’s production of “nettable energy.” The Commission enacted, effective for facilities in service as of January 2018, Chapter 313 (1) in light of the declining costs of constructing small renewable generation facilities and (2)  in order to reduce the inequity of shifting transmission and distribution (T&D) costs to ratepayers not participating in net energy billing.  Order Adopting Rule and Statement of Factual and Policy Basis, Docket No. 2016-00222 at 10 (Mar. 1, 2017). Chapter 313 gradually ratchets down, by 10% each year beginning in January 2018 and down to 0% in 2026, a generators’ potential “nettable energy”—the generation credits that renewable generators can net against their T&D kWh charges. Central Maine Power Request for Approval of T&C Section 57 – Net Energy Billing, Docket No. 2018-00037 (Me. P.U.C. Dec. 17, 2018) (Order Granting Exemption).

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Tuesday
Dec042018

Supreme Court Says “No Frog Habitat, No Critical Habitat”

You might assume that if an endangered species is nowhere to be found on your property, you can rest easy.  “No,” said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which decided in 2012 that if your land might be a good place for the Dusky Gopher frog to live, you might be subject to development restrictions under the Federal Endangered Species Act.

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Tuesday
Dec042018

Pipeline Appeals Grant of Summary Judgment to South Portland Regarding Its Ban on Marine Loading of Crude Oil 

Judge Woodcock of the U.S. District Court in Portland, finding that the South Portland’s Clear Skies Ordinance (the Ordinance) was neither a “preempted pipeline facility safety standard or a discriminatory ordinance enacted for an economically protectionist purpose, granted summary judgment to the City on October 9, 2018. Last month, on November 7, 2018, the Portland Pipeline Line Corporation (PPLC) filed a notice of appeal from that summary judgment order, a hearing date is pending. According to a press statement, PPLC remains convinced “that the so-called Clear Skies ordinance is preempted by state and federal law and otherwise violates the United States Constitution.” “Portland Pipe Line Corp. plans to appeal court ruling on ‘Clear Skies’ ordinance,” Portland Press Herald (Nov. 7, 2018). At a time when attention and pressure is mounting for infrastructure projects around the State, this order—and whether the First Circuit affirms it—will be a noteworthy signal for energy and utility industry stakeholders regarding the bounds of local control.

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Thursday
Nov082018

Maine Street Solutions - Legislative Update

Election night is now (mostly) in the books. As the night wore on, the blue tide turned into a blue wave and ended as a mini blue tsunami crashing on the Maine shore. More results are still coming in, but here’s what we know about the top of the ticket races: 

  • Janet Mills (D-Farmington) becomes the first woman to be elected Governor of Maine, garnering nearly 50% of the vote in a four-way race.

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