Testimony of In SUPPORT of LD 1637
LD 1637, An Act to Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Provide Funds for Maine To Meet the State’s Carbon Reduction Goals by Supporting the Use of Biofuels”

Senator Breen, Representative Pierce, and members of the Appropriations Committee, my name is Charlie Summers, I am the President and CEO of the Maine Energy Marketers Association (MEMA).

MEMA is a trade association composed of approximately 300-member companies and over 5,000 direct and 5,000 indirect people working in energy delivery and servicing businesses delivering heating oil, biofuels, motor fuels, propane, pellets, and kerosene and offering service and installations on the equipment that operates these fuels. In addition, our members own and operate 70% of Maine’s 1,300 convenience stores, throughout Maine and employ approximately 10,000 Maine people and sell more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each year. Our members also sell more than 90% of all the propane sold in our state every year. We provide education and training to the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, weatherization, and energy auditing trades for hundreds of Maine citizens annually through our courses at our own state of the art training facility MEMA Technical Education Center (MTEC) in Brunswick.

MEMA was founded in 1954 as the Maine Oil & Heating Dealers Association for the purpose of not only advancing the interests of its members but advancing the heating industry. From coal to low sulfur heating oil to propane, biofuels, heat pumps, pellet heating, and now Ethyl Levulinate (“EL”) MEMA members continue to look for and embrace technological advances.

From MEMA’s perspective and, as you learn more about this exciting renewable “Maine Grown fuel”, I hope your perspective too – EL represents Maine’s Energy Future. With your support, and that of the full legislature, we will be taking a real and tangible step toward that future.

EL is here now. It will not require Mainers to purchase expensive new heating systems and, should this this bond pass, will put our State on the path to eventually supplanting petroleum-based fuels using our existing heating oil infrastructure.

EL meets carbon reduction goals, it will provide jobs and strengthen our forest product industry while broadening Maine’s energy portfolio in an environmentally responsible fashion. Most importantly, EL will foster Energy Security for our State by ensuring that Mainers have another safe and reliable option when it comes to heating their homes – and at the same time helping to minimize the risks associated with reliance on foreign energy sources, cyber-attacks on energy infrastructure, and natural disasters.

I am, indeed, pleased to appear before you on behalf of the members of MEMA who at this crucial time, in the strongest possible terms, support Senator Jackson’s bill – LD 1637.