A conflict over ethics between Gov. Paul LePage and a member of the state’s Public Utilities Commission has been settled in the short term, but threatens to produce more controversy over the long term.
Just as World War II ended, the writer George Orwell was working on a novel that was to become so well-read and so prescient that its title and key phrases are still powerful expressions of the dangers of government control.
Gov. Paul LePage has rejected Public Utilities Commissioner David Littell's decision to recuse himself from voting on a case involving bottled water giant Nestle Waters and the Fryeberg Water Co. Littell claims he has a conflict of interest because he previously worked at a Portland law firm that represented Nestle and the water company. Lepage says that isn't enough to disqualify him for voting on the case. Continue Reading →
If a railroad spilled thousands of gallons of oil in Maine, no one in the state – or in Washington – knows what the railroads would do or if they’re prepared for such a disaster. Members of Maine's congressional delegation say that’s the reason they are pushing federal regulators to strengthen planning, response and mitigation requirements for railroads that transport hazardous materials such as highly flammable crude oil. Continue Reading →
Just as the state has revealed that crude oil shipments by rail have resumed along the state’s rail lines, Maine state emergency officials say new federal rules about shipping hazardous materials such as crude by rail don't go far enough. Continue Reading →
The state public advocate’s office, which represents the interests of utility customers in Maine, has withdrawn its opposition to a multimillion-dollar transaction to build wind turbines across Maine and the Northeast.
The move was made, said Public Advocate Timothy Schneider, after his office reviewed its previous position and decided that the deal would neither undermine state utility regulation nor would it threaten ratepayers with higher energy prices. Continue Reading →
Eight months ago, the people of Lac-Mégantic thought the world was ending.
A runaway 72-car train carrying a volatile variety of crude oil derailed and exploded in this community of 6,000, killing 47 people and destroying the town center.
Two of the state’s most prominent anti-wind activists and the non-profit organization they run are under investigation by Maine Attorney General Janet Mills for alleged conflicts of interest that may have benefitted them financially at the expense of the organization. Continue Reading →