Governor Baldacci held a ceremonial signing of LD 2126, “An Act To Minimize Carbon Dioxide Emissions from New Coal-Powered Industrial and Electrical Generating Facilities in the State,” in his office on Tuesday.
Sponsored by Rep. W. Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay), the bill requires the Board of Environmental Protection to develop greenhouse gas emission standards for coal gasification facilities. It also puts a moratorium in place on building any new coal gasification facilities until the standards are developed.
“Maine has been in the forefront in protecting our natural resources, our environment and our public health,” the governor said. “This bill continues Maine’s leadership.”
LD 2126 will go into effect 90 days after the close of the legislative session, which is expected later this week.
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) said in reaction to the bill signing, “The bill closes a major loophole in state law that would have allowed increased and unlimited emissions of carbon dioxide — the primary pollutant that causes global warming — from coal gasification plants. That loophole would have opened the door for the Twin River Energy Center, a proposed coal gasification and diesel refinery in the coastal town of Wiscasset. If constructed, Twin River would have instantly become Maine’s largest source of global warming pollution.” Last year voters in Wiscasset turned down a zoning ordinance that would have cleared the way for development plans for Twin River Energy Center. According to CLF, developers of the center had said they were still planning to go forward with the project.