– LD 1058, SP 427 – An Act to Advance Greenhouse Gas Removal as an Economic Development Strategy in Maine

This bill directs the Department of Environmental Protection to develop and, no later than May 1, 2024, implement a greenhouse gas removal program. The program must be designed to:

1. Research, develop, assess and deploy methods of removing greenhouse gases through the implementation of incentives, collaborations, educational initiatives, rules, programs or other activities within the jurisdiction of relevant state agencies, with consideration given to similar methods developed or proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Energy, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies and other public or private entities;

2. Develop the scientific methods, technical expertise, public-private partnerships and economic development actions that will support the removal of greenhouse gases under the program; and

3. Identify and secure available federal and other funding to support the removal of greenhouse gases under the program, except that the department may not impose any fees or fines on any person to fund the program. If by March 1, 2024 the department has not secured the funding necessary to implement the program by May 1, 2024, the department is required to submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources regarding the status of program implementation and the challenges encountered in securing funding for the program and identifying alternative funding options for consideration. After reviewing the report, the committee may report out legislation relating to the report.

In developing and implementing the program, the department is directed to consult and coordinate with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Department of Marine Resources, the Maine Technology Institute, the Governor’s Energy Office and any other state agencies or other public or private entities and may contract with public or private entities and individuals for those purposes.

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