Press Release: GrowSmart Maine testifies in favor of LD 192


February 16, 2011

GrowSmart Maine

309 Cumberland Avenue

Suite 202

Portland, ME 04101



CONTACT: Kimberly Ballard

Testimony of Nancy Smith, Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine in favor of LD 192, “An Act To Bring a Green Data Center to Maine” February 16, 2011

Senator Thibodeau, Representative Fitts and members of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. My name is Nancy Smith and I am the Executive Director of GrowSmart Maine. As many of you know from our previous interactions with the committee, GrowSmart Maine is a statewide non-profit membership-based organization working to grow Maine's economy, protect its distinctive character, and enhance our state's quality places. I regret that previously scheduled commitments prevent me or other GrowSmart Maine representatives to present this testimony at today’s Public Hearing for LD 192.

As a part of our commitment to strengthening Maine’s economy, GrowSmart Maine is particularly enthusiastic about well grounded, thoughtful and creative proposals which seek to grow the economy in a sustainable manner while at the same time preserving our state’s unique character and quality of place. While as drafted, LD 192 is a concept draft, it is our understanding from talking to the sponsor Representative Dill, that this proposal emanates from a similar bill in the State of Washington which proposed to create a sales tax break to businesses that install computers and provide energy source(s) to help create new data centers to be located in rural areas of the state. Our further understanding of Representative Dill’s proposal is to take the first step towards this approach by convening an appropriate group of stakeholders to more fully develop this proposal which may seek to utilize existing Pine Tree Development Zones. GrowSmart Maine strongly endorses this proposal as a necessary first step in considering a novel approach to providing much needed sustainable economic development in rural areas of the state.

Thank you for the opportunity to present these remarks. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding GrowSmart Maine’s enthusiastic support for the concept put forth by LD 192.

* * *