Maine House Votes 138 – 1 To Pass One Word Bill to Correct Typo
The Maine House vote was nearly unanimous today to pass a one-word bill that will correct a typo in the omnibus energy bill passed last session. If today's bill was defeated, it would have cut energy efficiency programs to homes and businesses.
Dylan Voorhees, Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine said in a statement today that, this year alone, Efficiency Maine "is helping more than 10,000 homes cut heating bills and more then 3,000 businesses cut their energy costs."
Energy efficiency is the most effective way to lower energy costs for Maine, and has had widespread support from business leaders, Maine people, and bipartisan policymakers," Voorhees said.
The typo involved the omission of the word 'and' in a crucial part of the wording of the bill. That tiny word, or the lack of it, could have cost Maine energy consumers $250 million dollars, through drastic reductions to energy efficiency programs.
"The omnibus energy bill was a remarkable example of bipartisanship to address complex energy costs by unprecedented amounts," said Voorhees. "The one-word typo is universally understood as just that, a typo, that does not reflect the clear intention of the law."
"Legislators of both parties came together to recognize that the right thing to do was simply put the word back in, without attaching any new conditions to such action."
The Energy & Utilities committee is currently working on LD 1221, which contains several other provisions, including the creation of a Maine Energy Office and making the director of Efficiency Maine a political appointee by the Governor, as opposed to being hired by its Board of Trustees.