New England Governors to Meet in Hartford April 23 to Discuss Ways to Reduce Energy Costs

April 20, 2015

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 20, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage and other New England governors will meet in Hartford, Connecticut April 23 to pursue next steps in their efforts to develop and implement a cooperative strategy to address energy infrastructure challenges facing the region. The Governors will meet at the Connecticut Convention Center for a private roundtable organized by the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG).

The Governors will explore common solutions to energy challenges facing the region in an effort to combat the high cost of electricity in New England, the lack of infrastructure to bring natural gas to power plants, growing concerns about reliability, and the transmission challenges of integrating power from renewable energy sources into the grid.

The Governors first outlined a strategy for regional energy cooperation in a joint statement issued in December of 2013.

“It is imperative Maine lowers its energy costs in order to be competitive,” said Governor LePage. “As other New England governors begin to address our energy crisis, we must all work together now to bring stability and competitiveness by adding pipeline capacity and stable clean energy to New England’s energy market. I look forward to working with my colleagues in New England to move our region forward.”

Prior to the Governor’s working session, a “Northeast Regional Energy Forum” for energy stakeholders will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center from 8:15 to 10 a.m.

At the forum, a panel will address regional infrastructure issues and will feature special guests Richard Levitan, president & principal of Levitan & Associates, Inc., and Gordon van Welie, president and chief executive officer, ISO New England Inc. A second panel will feature state energy officials who will discuss state initiatives and regional collaboration that is already underway.

The “Northeast Energy Forum” will be available live for public viewing on the website of the Connecticut Television Network at www.ctn.state.ct.us . The public will also be able to follow the forum discussion on Twitter @neenergysolutions and to also Tweet questions for panelists.

At their roundtable, the Governors will discuss a variety of resources to address the energy challenges facing the region – including cost-effective investment in new natural gas infrastructure, the continued integration of clean energy resources, aggressive investment in energy efficiency and distributed generation. The Governors will be focused on regional solutions and individual state efforts that can help the region reduce energy costs, reduce carbon pollution, and ensure the economic competitiveness of the New England region.

In their December 2013 energy joint statement, the New England Governors said, “We believe that by working together we can expand economic development, promote job growth, improve the competitiveness of our industries, enhance system reliability, and protect and increase the quality of life for our citizens. Expanding our existing efforts will ensure that we are on a course toward a transformed energy, environment, and economic future for our region that offers a model for the nation.”

All six New England Governors are expected to attend the April 23 session: Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Connecticut; Governor Paul R. LePage, Maine; Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts; Governor Margaret Wood Hassan, New Hampshire; Governor Gina M. Raimondo, Rhode Island; Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont.

NOTE TO EDITORS:
For your planning purposes:
• The “Northeast Regional Energy Forum,” which will run from 8:15 to 10 a.m., will be open to media coverage and arrangements have been made with the Convention Center to provide camera locations and audio for electronic media.

• The New England Governors Roundtable discussion will be a private, working meeting for the Governors. The Governors do plan to brief the media following the conclusion of their discussions. The briefing is expected to take place at the Convention Center at about 12:30 p.m.