Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session

Chapter 615

S.P. 710 - L.D. 1810

An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force

Emergency preamble. Whereas,  acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas,  in 2008, crude oil prices reached $147 per barrel, and gasoline and heating oil prices reached over $4 per gallon, highlighting our State's long over-reliance on oil for home-heating and fuel for our vehicles and on natural gas and other fossil fuels to produce electricity; and

Whereas,  along with the foreseeable prospect of prolonged high or higher fossil fuel prices, the implications of climate change, driven by greenhouse gas emissions from combustion of fossil fuels, and its attendant threats to the environment, economy, social fabric and human health underscore the urgent need to significantly reduce and minimize our State's dependence on oil and gas; and

Whereas,  renewable ocean energy holds enormous promise to address our state and regional energy goals, including energy independence and security and limiting exposure to fossil fuels' price and supply volatility; to ensure attainment of our greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals; and to provide significant economic opportunities for our citizens; and

Whereas,  state and adjoining federal waters feature significant offshore wind, tidal and wave power energy resources, including world-class and untapped deep-water wind resources with the potential to make a significant contribution to the State's energy sources to meet the State's changing needs for renewable sources of light and power, heat and transportation fuel; to meet the State's ambitious renewable energy portfolio standards; and to position the State to be an exporter of clean, renewable indigenous energy; and

Whereas,  the Governor's Ocean Energy Task Force identified and made recommendations to overcome economic, technical and regulatory obstacles and to provide economic incentives for vigorous and efficient development of these promising indigenous, renewable ocean energy resources in ways that recognize the concurrent need to sustain the ongoing biological integrity of the State's waters, the vitality and productivity of ocean harvests and the differing needs and uses of the seas and other natural resources and to ensure the provision of these benefits to the people of the State by careful use of such public resources for renewable ocean energy production; and

Whereas,  although additional research and related technological advances are needed for efficient commercialization of deep-water offshore wind power, varied and significant potential public benefits attributable to development and transition over time to optimal use of this resource and the State's other renewable ocean energy resources necessitates timely action to position the State to capture these benefits for the people of the State; and

Whereas,  in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Parts: A B C D E F G H

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Effective April 7, 2010.

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