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Statoil Says 'No' to Maine

AUGUSTA -- A multinational oil and gas company said Tuesday it no longer has interest in doing business in Maine -- specifically, a $120 million offshore wind pilot project in the Gulf of Maine.


The Norwegian company Statoil says it will pass on its Hywind Maine project, citing regulatory uncertainty.


Statoil first submitted its proposal to the Maine Public Utilities Commission two years ago.


At the same time, the University of Maine was developing its own offshore wind technology.


But because the university had missed the deadline to submit a proposal, lawmakers -- at the governor's urging -- passed legislation delaying contract negotiations with Statoil and giving UMaine another chance.


That move is believed to have pushed Statoil away.


On Tuesday, Democratic leadership placed blame on Governor LePage, saying he "changed the rules of the game" and "pulled the welcome mat out from underneath Statoil's feet."


The governor says the project would have increased costs to Maine ratepayers.


He also questioned the company's committment to growing the state's economy.

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