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Solar panels facing towards the sun at 3 Level Farm in South China, Maine.

Action Alert: Last Chance to Ensure Balanced Solar Siting Gets the Funding it Needs

MFT supports renewable energy production on farms as long as it does not significantly diminish the potential for agricultural production. The Maine Legislature recently voted in favor of LD 856, which would advance key recommendations to incentivize the siting of solar energy projects that minimize impacts to important agricultural lands. Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislator and asked them to vote in favor of this bill.

Now, we need your help again! Please reach out to members of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee (listed below) and urge them to provide sufficient funding for LD 856.

Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee
Sen. Cathy Breen, Chair (D-Cumberland), Senate District 25: Cathy.Breen@legislature.maine.gov
Sen. Donna Bailey (D-York), Senate District 31: Donna.Bailey@Legislature.Maine.gov
Sen. Paul Davis (R-Piscataquis), Senate District 4: Paul.Davis@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Teresa Pierce, Chair (D-Falmouth), House District 44: Teresa.Pierce@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Amy Arata (R-New Gloucester), House District 65: Amy.Arata@Legislature.Maine.gov
Rep. Barbara Cardone (D-Bangor), House District 127: Barbara.Cardone@Legislature.Maine.gov
Rep. Kristen Cloutier (D-Lewiston), House District 60: Kristen.Cloutier@Legislature.Maine.gov
Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham), House District 25: Patrick.Corey@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Jack Ducharme (R-Madison), House District 111: John.Ducharme@Legislature.Maine.gov
Rep. Jessica Fay (D-Raymond), House District 66: Jessica.Fay@Legislature.Maine.gov
Rep. Patty Hymanson (D-York), House District 4: Patricia.Hymanson@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. John Martin (D-Eagle Lake), House District 151: John.Martin@legislature.maine.gov
Rep. Sawin Millett (R-Waterford), House District 71: Sawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov

When you reach out to members of the AFA Committee, here is a message you can share:
Dear [enter the name of the AFA Committee member],

[Introduce yourself, your farm or business, and where you are located]. I am reaching out to urge you to provide the requested funding for LD 856.

Solar energy generation is an important strategy for addressing climate change and can provide financial support to farms, but it is important that solar development does not result in the loss of farmland or agricultural production or prevent farmers from being able to access the land they need for their businesses. [Add any optional personal message you want to provide about the need for balanced solar siting in Maine.]
LD 856 would provide the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) and the Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) with the staffing and resources they need to be able to collect and analyze data on land use impacts of solar development, identify strategies to avoid the overdevelopment of important resources, create a dual-use pilot program focused on the integration of solar projects with agricultural production systems, and collect data so we can learn how these dual-use projects affect agricultural production. Providing DACF and GEO with adequate resources is critical for ensuring balanced solar siting in the state.

Please provide LD 856 with the requested funding so that solar projects are sited in Maine in ways that balance these important interests.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

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