Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session


Parts: A B C D E F G H I J K

Chapter 372

H.P. 1038 - L.D. 1485

PART F

Sec. F-1. 5 MRSA §282, sub-§7,  as amended by PL 2001, c. 333, §2, is further amended to read:

7. Value of fringe benefits.   To ensure that all publications that state the salary of an employee or of a position in State Government also include a statement of the dollar value of the fringe benefit package provided. For purposes of this subsection, "fringe benefits" includes an employer's cost of an employee's health insurance, dental insurance and retirement but does not include the amount paid to cover any unfunded liability; and

Sec. F-2. 5 MRSA §282, sub-§8,  as enacted by PL 2001, c. 333, §3, is amended to read:

8. Serve as director of Clean Government Initiative.   To serve as a director, along with the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, of the Clean Government Initiative established in Title 38, section 343-H . ; and

Sec. F-3. 5 MRSA §282, sub-§9  is enacted to read:

9 Energy independence fund; revenues from occupancy of state assets.   To establish an energy independence fund for revenues derived from the use of state assets for energy transmission systems. Each fiscal year, the first $50,000,000 in revenues collected from such use must be transferred by the Treasurer of State to the Efficiency Maine Trust for deposit by the trust in program funds pursuant to Title 35-A, section 10103, subsection 4. After the initial transfer each fiscal year, the Treasurer shall deposit additional revenues received into an energy independence fund, which must be used for the following purposes:
A To ensure the methodical transition to energy independence and security for the people, communities, economy and environment of the State;
B To invest in and transform the ways homes and businesses are heated, energy is used and people and cargo are transported;
C To gain independence from foreign oil and to maximize energy efficiency, to enhance renewable energy sources and to invest in an economic development strategy to ensure a vibrant, environmentally sound and prosperous future; and
D To reduce energy costs statewide.

Sec. F-4. Commission established. The Commission to Study Energy Infrastructure, referred to in this section as "the commission," is established.

1. Membership. The commission consists of 13 members appointed as follows:

A. Three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, including members from each of the 2 parties holding the largest number of seats in the Legislature;
B. Five members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, including members from each of the 2 parties holding the largest number of seats in the Legislature; and
C. Five members appointed by the Governor.

2. Chairs. The first-named Senate member is the Senate chair and the first-named House of Representatives member is the House chair of the commission.

3. Appointments; convening. All appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this section. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been completed. Within 15 days after appointment of all members, the chairs shall call and convene the first meeting of the commission.

4. Duties; corridors; plan. The commission shall examine the feasibility and effects of the State entering into agreements for leasing or otherwise allowing the use of state-owned lands or assets, including submerged lands, the rights-of-way of the state highway system, the federal interstate highway system, state-owned or state-controlled rail corridors or other state transportation corridors, for the installation of lines, cables, pipelines or other structures for the transmission of energy resources, communication transmission systems or related facilities. The commission shall develop a plan governing such agreements that addresses at least the following:

A. Appropriate valuation, pricing and allocation methodologies to maximize the long-term public value through the most efficient and effective use of the state-owned lands and assets; and
B. The potential effect of such agreements on renewable energy development in the State, on the development of other energy projects in the State, including but not limited to liquefied natural gas terminals, on energy consumers and ratepayers and on natural resources and the environment.

The commission shall also examine the policy issues relating to the construction or installation in this State of energy facilities greater than 75 miles in length. The commission shall evaluate the need for changes in methods of taxation to ensure protection of the public health, safety and welfare.

In developing the plan, the commission shall review and analyze relevant reports and information, including but not limited to the information, analysis and results of the New England States Regional Energy Blueprint being prepared by ISO-NE for the New England Governors and the New England States’ Committee on Electricity. The commission shall also examine and monitor proposed or pending federal energy legislation that may significantly affect energy policy in this State. The commission may also consider ways in which the State’s electric transmission systems, including new lines, system upgrades or the development of a smart-grid, or the development of natural gas systems, including pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals, can help the State achieve its energy goals.

5. Staff; consultants; other assistance. The Legislative Council shall provide staffing services to the commission. The commission shall seek input from relevant agencies, stakeholders and persons with expertise. All agencies with relevant expertise shall provide technical or other assistance requested by the commission. The commission may retain consultants and other experts to assist the commission in its work.

6. Report. No later than December 2, 2009, the commission shall submit a report that includes its findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature. The Joint Standing Committee on Utilities and Energy may submit a bill related to the subject matter of the report to the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature after receipt of the report.

Sec. F-5. Legislative review of corridor plans.

1. Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

A. "Energy facilities" means lines, cables, pipelines or other structures for the transmission of energy resources, including but not limited to electricity, natural gas or oil.
B. "Significant occupancy agreement" means an occupancy agreement that:
(1) Involves a high-voltage direct current electric transmission line;
(2) Involves energy facilities greater than 75 miles in length; or
(3) Is substantially different from any previous occupancy agreement entered into by a state authority, including, but not limited to, with respect to the type of transportation corridors to be occupied, the manner of occupancy by energy facilities, the physical extent of occupancy by energy facilities, the type of energy facilities involved or the amount or calculation of any required consideration.
C. "State authority" includes but is not limited to the Governor, the Department of Transportation, the Maine Turnpike Authority or any other state entity, agency or authority.
D. "Transportation corridors" means the state highway system, the federal interstate highway system, state-owned or state-controlled rail corridors or other state transportation corridors.

2. Prohibition. A state authority may not enter into a significant occupancy agreement allowing the installation of energy facilities in state transportation corridors until a law approving a plan governing such agreements is enacted. A state authority may not issue a permit for an energy facility greater than 75 miles in length on land other than the submerged lands of this State or outside the territorial waters of this State as defined in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6001, subsection 48-B until this section is repealed, except that:

A. An application from such an energy facility may be processed by a state authority up to, but not including, final decision on the application;
B. Any applications processed by the Department of Environmental Protection or the Public Utilities Commission that may require adjudicatory proceedings or permit application review may not proceed beyond creation of the evidentiary record; and
C. Any action, proceeding or decision by a state authority pertaining to such an application is governed by any law enacted pursuant to section 4, subsection 6.

A state authority may not sell or lease public lands as that term is used in Title 35-A, section 3132, subsection 13 for the installation of an energy facility greater than 75 miles in length until a law approving a plan governing the sale or lease of state lands for such installations is enacted or until the energy facility receives a certificate of public convenience and necessity pursuant to Title 35-A, section 3132. Notwithstanding any other statutory provision or exemption, any person proposing to construct a transmission line greater than 75 miles in length and operating at greater than 69 kilovolts must obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity as required by Title 35-A, section 3132.

3. Limitations; exceptions. Nothing in this section prohibits a state authority from undertaking feasibility studies or exploratory negotiations for a significant occupancy agreement. Nothing in this section prohibits a state authority from entering into a limited agreement to engage in further negotiations regarding a significant occupancy agreement after enactment of law approving a plan governing such agreements, provided that any such limited agreement is subject to the express condition that all such further negotiations will occur only if permitted by and only in accordance with all provisions, terms, conditions and limitations of that plan. A state authority shall ensure that any study, negotiation or preliminary agreement is undertaken or entered into with the full awareness of all parties of the provisions of this section. Nothing in this section prohibits a state authority from entering into an agreement allowing occupancy of state transportation corridors by energy facilities for which an application for a certificate of public convenience or necessity was pending before the Public Utilities Commission on April 1, 2009, provided the occupancy agreement does not involve substantially different terms or conditions from any previous occupancy agreement entered into by a state authority with respect to the type of transportation corridors to be occupied, the manner of occupancy, the physical extent of occupancy or the amount or calculation of any required consideration. Nothing in this section prohibits a state authority from issuing permits for energy facilities for which an application for a certificate of public convenience or necessity was pending before the Public Utilities Commission on April 1, 2009. Nothing in this section is intended to apply to the operation, maintenance or alteration of licensed or permitted operating pipeline facilities or their appurtenances, including but not limited to tanks, piers, pumps and valves, that were installed prior to the effective date of this Act, even if such operation, maintenance or alteration activity requires a permit from a state authority. Nothing in this section prohibits any state authority from entering into a submerged lands lease for any pier and appurtenances related to a licensed marine oil terminal facility, as long as the application for such lease was pending prior to the effective date of this Act. Nothing in this section amends or alters the jurisdiction of any state authority or agency, including but not limited to the Public Utilities Commission and the Board of Environmental Protection, regarding the siting or determination of need for any energy facilities that may be the subject of a significant occupancy agreement or exempts any energy facilities from obtaining approvals required by applicable law. Nothing in this section prohibits a state authority from issuing a permit or license pursuant to authority delegated to the State by federal law. This section does not apply to an energy facility that is an eligible project under Title IV of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 if that project has received notification from the United States Department of Energy or its agents that the energy facility has been granted a federal loan guarantee under that Act.

4. Repeal. This section is repealed upon the effective date of a law approving plans in accordance with subsection 2 that specifically indicates legislative intent to repeal this section or 90 days after the adjournment of the Second Regular Session of the 124th Legislature, whichever is earlier.

Sec. F-6. Transfers from Public Utilities Commission for legislative study. The State Controller shall transfer $200,000 from the Public Utilities - Administrative Division, Other Special Revenue Funds program in the Public Utilities Commission to the Study Commissions - Funding, Other Special Revenue Funds program in the Legislature on the effective date of this Act.

Sec. F-7. Appropriations and allocations. The following appropriations and allocations are made.

LEGISLATURE

Study Commissions - Funding 0444

Initiative: Allocates funds transferred from the Public Utilities Commission for the Commission to Study Energy Infrastructure.

OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS 2009-10 2010-11
Personal Services
$2,640 $0
All Other
$197,360 $0
inline graphic sline.gif inline graphic sline.gif
OTHER SPECIAL REVENUE FUNDS TOTAL $200,000 $0

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333