When asked on Tuesday why he couldn’t get the Legislature to do what he wants, LePage said, “Because you can’t fix stupid.”
He went on to largely echo a statement from his office a day earlier, saying that lawmakers are “looking for this golden parachute somewhere, this rainbow that’s going to make everything OK, but it doesn’t work that way,” according to WGME.
“Unless we find a way to lower our energy costs, these companies that we have manufacturing will leave,” the Republican said.
The remarks sparked criticism from a usual suspect, Senate Minority Leader Justin Alfond, D-Portland, who noted that LePage has vetoed renewable energy bills that the Legislature has passed and said, “We’re trying to do it,” but “we can’t do it alone and we can’t do it when we’re blaming each other either.”
But a Republican also chimed in. Rep. Norman Higgins of Dover-Foxcroft, who sits on the Legislature’s Energy Committee, wrote in a Monday post on Facebook that the news of the Lincoln mill closure and LePage’s response blaming legislators for not supporting his policies were “equally sad.”
“What policies! We are still waiting Governor!” he wrote. “How about stop blaming others and be the leader we need to move our state forward!” — Michael Shepherd
How much money for energy upgrades is in Maine’s trees?
While we’re on the topic of energy, legislators are examining a pot of revenue that could be available for a longstanding LePage proposal — to fund energy upgrades for low-income people with $5 million from increased timber harvests on state land.
On Tuesday, Maine State Forester Doug Denico presented at the second meeting of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund, made up of legislators and special interests. The committee is charged with reporting recommendations regarding the fund to the Legislature by December.
But it’s unclear how much money could be diverted from the fund that holds timber revenues: Denico said there was $7 million in it at the end of 2015’s fiscal year, but that it needs at least $2.5 million as a contingency, and an assistant attorney general has said that some of the money must be used to maintain public lands.
Of course, the recent mill troubles could also lower state timber revenue, since they buy much of that wood. There’s a lot more to be decided by the time the commission’s recommendations come. — Michael Shepherd
- Old Town pulp mill to close — Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
- LePage talks energy, asylum seekers in Bucksport — Bill Trotter, BDN
- Lincoln business owners: ‘We will have to try to survive’ mill bankruptcy — Nick Sambides Jr., BDN
- CEO: After explosion, Lincoln mill lost cash, competitive edge — Darren Fishell, BDN
- Lincoln mill bankruptcy could complicate Bangor Gas expansion — Darren Fishell, BDN
- 12 Maine colleges downplay test scores for admission — Nick McCrea, BDN
- After father’s misdiagnosis, Maine woman urges patients to speak up — Jackie Farwell, BDN
- Obama, Congress to kick off US budget negotiations — Richard Cowan and Susan Cornwell, Reuters
End of baseball season a sweet sorrow
Today, I read something in the Boston Globe that amazed me: It was only on Monday that the Boston Red Sox were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, despite a disappointing season that has the team’s record at 77-80.
On one hand, the season’s end this weekend is merciful — the Sox are a mess. But I always get a little sad when baseball season ends. For more on the feeling, consult this great New Yorker piece from a fellow fan.
“What I’m most irritated with the Red Sox about is that they’re leaving me,” writes Nicholas Dawidoff. “Even in this lost season, they have been excellent company in 2015.” — Michael Shepherd