The Maine Renewable Energy Association has filed suit against Gov. Paul LePage over a wind moratorium he issued by executive order in January.
The order directs that “no permits are issued” in certain areas of the state until the Maine Wind Energy Commission meets in private to decide their fate.
Maine Renewable Energy Association Executive Director Jeremy Payne says the governor’s action directly contradicts the Constitution’s separation of powers between the three branches of government since existing law already governs wind permitting.
“The chief executive can’t just wake up one day and decide which laws he will or won’t enforce and he certainly can’t just make up new laws. I mean that is very clearly the Legislature’s role, as it should be,” he says.
Payne says the executive order sends a message that capital investment in renewable energy projects is “neither welcome nor appreciated” in Maine.
“If the executive order is allowed to stand, then we might as well all just march down to the southern border of the state and remove the ‘Open for Business’ sign because this executive order is very anti-business,” he says.
The lawsuit asks the Court to remedy what it describes as the governor’s “unconstitutional executive overreach.”
This story was originally published Feb. 20, 2018 at 4:58 p.m. ET.