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Mills signs bill that prohibits new offshore wind projects in state waters

The new law comes after another bill Mills recently signed that created a first-of-its-kind research area for floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine
Credit: AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills has signed a bill that prohibits new offshore wind projects in state waters, preserving waters closest to shore for recreation and fishing.

The bill, LD 1619, was sponsored by State Sen. Mark Lawrence, D-Kittery, was passed in the House and Senate on June 30 as an emergency measure and sent to the governor’s desk.

The new law comes after another bill, LD 336, she recently signed that created a first-of-its-kind research area for floating offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. Mills said in a release she applauds the Legislature for their “strong bipartisan support” to grow a global offshore wind industry in Maine, “which will create good-paying jobs for Maine people, support Maine’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy, and help fight climate change.”

“This legislation cements in law our belief that these efforts should occur in Federal waters farther off our coast through a research array that can help us establish the best way for Maine to embrace the vast economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind,” Mills said in a statement Wednesday.

She continued to say she believes the bipartisan support “demonstrates that offshore wind and Maine’s fishing industry can not only coexist but can help us build a stronger economy with more good-paying jobs and a brighter, more sustainable future for Maine people.”

“This moratorium will protect Maine’s fisheries and coastal waters and maintain Maine’s status as a leader in developing clean energy and fighting climate change. Maine can continue to prioritize offshore wind in the Federal waters of the Gulf of Maine, which is home to some of the highest sustained wind speeds in the world,” Lawrence, the bill’s sponsor who is also the chairman of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, said in a statement.

Read LD 1619 here: