AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Supporters of wind energy said a new report backs up what they have long maintained, that power generated by the wind is much better for the state than power from fossil fuels.
A report by a New Hampshire consulting group on behalf of a wind industry group touts the benefits of wind power in Maine. The report found that in 2013 wind power reduced carbon dioxide levels in Maine by 490,000 tons or the equivalent of pollution from 94,000 automobiles. The number is expected to grow as more wind projects are completed.
"By 2020 our wind farms will offset pollution equal to about 400,000 cars. That's just less than half of the register passenger vehicles in Maine," said Jeremy Payne of the Maine Renewable Energy Association.
Some leading health and environmental groups are praising the report as good news for the state.
"I couldn't help think about how that translates into the lives of people here in Maine and making it easier for someone to breathe," said Ed Miller of the American Lung Association.
A bill now in the legislature would scale back the state's goal for future wind power development. The bill's sponsor is concerned subsidies for future projects will result in higher electric bills for customers. There is also concern over where the projects will be located.