A coalition that's pushing for a referendum to mandate increased use of renewable energy in Maine says its initiative would reduce dependence on foreign oil, strengthen the economy and promote energy efficiency.
The Maine Citizens for Clean Energy held a news conference Wednesday in support of a referendum proposal to require that at least 20 percent of Maine's electricity come from new renewable energy sources by 2020. Leaders of the initiative said they're confident they'll collect more than 57,000 valid signatures needed by the end of January to get the question on the ballot.
Environment Northeast's Maine director, Beth Nagusky, said Wednesday that residential electric bills would rise initially, but then decrease if the measure passes.
Gov. Paul LePage says the initiative would result in increased energy costs.