ORONO, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --It didn't take long for UMaine's loss of a $47 Million Dollar Federal Grant for it's offshore wind project to become a political issue in the race for governor. Independent candidate Eliot Cutler had some harsh words for Governor LePage.
In a statement released Thursday Cutler said: "This development is a real tragedy for the people of Maine. Once again, ham handed, amateur hour business judgments made in the Blaine House have squandered an opportunity to build a new future for Maine. This should be a yellow caution flag for Maine voters this fall."
Cutler is referring to LePage's move last fall to re-open the bidding process for the offshore wind project after it had already been awarded to Norwegian Energy Company, Stat Oil. Stat Oil abandoned the project as a result. UMaine and it's partners, Emera and Cianbro stepped in...
But Wednesday they learned that the U.S. Department of Energy selected three other projects ahead of UMaine for $47 million dollar federal grants. Those projects are in Virginia, New Jersey, and Oregon.
Governor Lepage was quick to fire back at Cutler. In an email to NEWSCENTER sent by press secretary Adrienne Bennett, LePage says:
"Clearly, Cutler is attempting to garner attention around himself. Ironically, he appears to be denouncing the good work at the University, which is unfortunate. The Administration will continue to support the University in developing new and clean energy technology, which in the long-term will reduce rates for Mainers."