State

One town’s effort to save Maine’s forest economy reflects a statewide hope

Tom Cushman’s not an energy trader. Not exactly.

Every morning before heading into the woods, he checks the going rate for electricity, estimating whether the wood-to-energy plants he supplies are going to break even.

“If they haven’t got that, then they have to cut back production,” Cushman said. “And that means I’m going to have to cut back my production, which isn’t good.”

Cushman’s concerns from his southern Maine operation in Durham echo through places like the Aroostook County town of Ashland, where the same low power prices are dogging standalone wood-to-energy plants.

Taxpayers bailed out Maine’s six such biomass facilities last year, offering them $13.4 million in subsidies to maintain employment and in-state wood purchases.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “One town’s effort to save Maine’s forest economy reflects a statewide hope,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Darren Fishell, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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