I am writing in response to a letter in this paper on May 5 by my state Rep. Karen Vachon regarding her vote on an important solar energy bill, LD 1649. In her letter, she expresses her disappointment in a letter she read in the Current from one of her constituents urging her to support the solar bill. She said she was disappointed that the author never called or emailed her with his thoughts about the bill. Well, I called Rep. Vachon over the last few months urging her to support this solar bill, and I never got a response from her. I am deeply disappointed she voted against this bipartisan solar energy bill in Augusta.
I appreciate the hard work Karen Vachon does for her Scarborough constituents in the Legislature. Being a legislator is tough work, especially in the polarizing times we live in. But publically chastising a constituent for expressing their views on a matter of public policy is not appropriate.
Solar energy is taking off across the country, but Maine is missing out because we do not have a state policy in place to encourage the solar market in Maine. Maine is in last place in New England on solar energy production and solar jobs. This bill would have created 650 new solar jobs in Maine and actually reduced electricity rates according to the state’s ratepayer advocate.
To me, Vachon’s vote makes no sense and would appear to simply be following party lines. Rep. Vachon had a chance to create new jobs in Maine while also helping the environment. Solar growth is happening nationwide, and we missed an opportunity to join this important effort here in Maine. Instead, she voted to sustain the veto of LD 1649 and decided to fall in line behind a governor who is out of step with the majority of Mainers.
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Maine Radio and Television Co.