An Act To Change the Name of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security
Sec. 1. 2 MRSA§9, as amended by PL 2011, c. 400, §§1 and 2, is further amended to read:
§ 9. Governor's Energy Office
Nothing in this subsection alters any of the responsibilities or limits any of the authority of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of General Services pursuant to Title 5. Nothing in this subsection alters or limits the ability of departments or agencies of the State, along with the Bureau of General Services pursuant to Title 5, to generate or cogenerate energy at state facilities for use on site and elsewhere.
Sec. 2. 10 MRSA §1023-K, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 124, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 10 MRSA §1023-K, sub-§3-B, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 124, §2, is amended to read:
(1) The applicant demonstrates a reasonable likelihood that the applicant will be able to repay the loan;
(2) The project is technologically feasible; and
(3) The project will contribute to a reduction of or more efficient use of fossil fuels.
The authority, in consultation with the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office within the Executive Department, shall adopt rules for determining eligibility, project feasibility, terms, conditions and security for loans under this section. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules under Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 4. 10 MRSA §1043, sub-§2, ¶O, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 261, §4, is amended to read:
(1) The energy distribution system project has received all authorizations or certifications from the Public Utilities Commission necessary for construction and operation of the project. The authority may issue a certificate of approval for a project that has received conditional approvals or certifications from the commission, except that the authority's certificate becomes legally effective only upon fulfillment of the conditional provisions of the commission's certificates or approvals. If the commission has approved rates to be charged by the project or has issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project, the authority shall take into consideration any findings and conclusions of law of the commission, including any findings and conclusions pertaining to the need for the project and the financial viability of the project.
(2) The authority has reviewed and considered any comments provided by the Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office and the Public Advocate.
(3) The authority has determined that the applicant is creditworthy and that there is a reasonable likelihood that the revenue obligation securities will be repaid through the revenues of the project and any other sources of revenues and collateral pledged to the repayment of those securities. In order to make these determinations, the authority shall consider such factors as it considers necessary and appropriate in light of the special purpose or other nature of the business entity owning the project and the specific purposes of the project to measure and evaluate the project and the sufficiency of the pledged revenues to repay the obligations, including, but not limited to:
(a) Whether the individuals or entities obligated to repay the obligations have demonstrated sufficient revenues from the project or from other sources to repay the obligations and a reasonable probability that those revenues will continue to be available for the term of the revenue obligation securities;
(b) Whether the applicant demonstrates a reasonable probability that the project will continue to operate and provide the public benefits projected to be created for the term of the revenue obligation securities;
(c) Whether the applicant's creditworthiness is demonstrated by factors such as its historical financial performance, management ability, plan for marketing its product or service and ability to access conventional financing;
(d) Whether the applicant meets or exceeds industry average financial performance ratios commonly accepted in determining creditworthiness in that industry;
(e) Whether the applicant demonstrates that the need for authority assistance is due to the reduced cost and increased flexibility of the financing for the project that result from authority assistance and not from an inability to obtain necessary financing without the capital reserve fund security provided by the authority;
(f) Whether collateral securing the repayment obligation is reasonably sufficient under the circumstances;
(g) Whether the proposed project enhances the opportunities for economic development;
(h) The effect that the proposed project financing has on the authority's financial resources;
(i) The financial performance of similar projects;
(j) The need for the project, as determined by the Public Utilities Commission and as indicated by any comments provided by the Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office, other public officials and members of the public;
(k) The nature and extent of customer commitment to use the project or the fuel or energy the project distributes or transmits; and
(l) The cost advantages to end users of the fuel or energy to be distributed or transmitted by the project, to the extent those advantages may affect market penetration by the project.
Sec. 5. 10 MRSA §9722, sub-§2, ¶I, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 699, §6, is amended to read:
Sec. 6. 35-A MRSA §122, sub-§1-B, ¶A, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 655, Pt. A, §2, is amended to read:
(1) The Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office within the Executive Department or the director's designee;
(2) The Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services or the commissioner's designee;
(3) The commissioner of each department or the director of any other state agency or authority that owns or controls land or assets within the statutory corridor under consideration or that commissioner's or director's designee; and
(4) Four members of the public appointed by the Governor in accordance with this subparagraph, subject to review by the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters and to confirmation by the Senate:
(a) One member with expertise in energy and utilities selected from candidates nominated by the President of the Senate;
(b) One member with expertise in real estate or finance selected from candidates nominated by the President of the Senate;
(c) One member representing industrial or commercial energy consumers selected from candidates nominated by the Speaker of the House; and
(d) One member representing residential energy consumers selected from candidates nominated by the Speaker of the House.
Public members serve 3-year terms, except that a vacancy must be filled for the unexpired portion of the term. A public member serves until a successor is appointed. A public member may serve a maximum of 2 consecutive terms. Compensation of public members is as provided in Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 30-D.
Sec. 7. 35-A MRSA §122, sub-§2, ¶B, as amended by PL 2009, c. 655, Pt. A, §2, is further amended to read:
Sec. 8. 35-A MRSA §122, sub-§7, ¶C, as amended by PL 2009, c. 655, Pt. A, §2, is further amended to read:
(1) The commission may exercise the authority under this paragraph only in an adjudicatory proceeding upon a petition by the Office of the Public Advocate or the Executive Department, Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office demonstrating that such action is urgently needed to avoid substantial harm to electricity consumers regarding anticipated activity associated with an energy infrastructure corridor. A determination by the commission that the exercise of eminent domain under this paragraph is urgently needed to avoid substantial harm to electricity consumers regarding anticipated activity associated with an energy infrastructure corridor constitutes reviewable final agency action.
(2) The amount of any lands or easements taken by the commission pursuant to this subsection may be no greater than is required to avoid the harm to electricity consumers identified under subparagraph (1).
(3) The right of eminent domain granted in this paragraph does not apply to personal property, fixtures or improvements that constitute transmission and distribution plant or an energy transport pipeline.
(4) The commission may exercise the right of eminent domain for the purposes of this paragraph in the same manner and under the same conditions as set forth in chapter 65. For the purposes of the exercise of eminent domain authorized by this paragraph, the commission is both a person and the State.
(5) The commission is authorized to assess transmission and distribution utilities to the extent necessary to obtain sufficient funds to pay for lands and easements taken pursuant to this subsection.
(6) The commission, in an adjudicatory proceeding upon petition by the Office of the Public Advocate or the Executive Department, Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office, may transfer or convey to any person or state agency or authority lands and easements once acquired, except that a transmission and distribution utility or the owner of an energy transport pipeline whose lands or easements were taken pursuant to this paragraph must be given the first opportunity to acquire the lands or easements to the extent necessary or useful in the performance of its duties as a transmission and distribution utility or an owner of an energy transport pipeline.
(7) The commission shall report on the circumstances of any taking by eminent domain to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters during the next regular session of the Legislature following the acquisition of lands or easements by eminent domain.
Sec. 9. 35-A MRSA §10103, sub-§2, ¶A, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
(1) The director Director of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security Office;
(2) The director of the Maine State Housing Authority; and
(3) Seven members appointed by the Governor, reviewed by the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over energy matters and approved by the Senate. Among these 7 members must be persons who adequately represent the interests of commercial energy consumers, industrial energy consumers, small business energy consumers, residential energy consumers and low-income energy consumers; among these members must be persons with knowledge of and experience in financial matters and consumer advocacy and who possess substantial management expertise or knowledge of or experience with conservation fund programs, carbon reduction programs or energy efficiency or climate change policy. The requirements of this subparagraph may be met through the appointment of one or more persons who satisfy more than one of the requirements, as long as at any one time the 7 members include among them members who adequately represent the identified interests and who posses possess the required knowledge, expertise and experience.
Appointed trustees serve 3-year terms. If an appointed trustee is unable to complete the term, the Governor shall appoint a replacement for the remainder of the unexpired term.
This bill changes the name of the Governor's Office of Energy Independence and Security to the Governor's Energy Office. The bill also fixes cross-references to reflect the name change.