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Gov. John Baldacci, D-Maine, and New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham recently held a meeting to continue work they began in February with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on energy issues. The MOU establishes a timeline to set forth actions that would enhance cross-border cooperation between Maine and New Brunswick on electrical interconnections.

"This was a positive meeting that will help to move our relationship with New Brunswick forward," Baldacci says. "Our energy costs in Maine are too high, and I believe increased cooperation with New Brunswick holds the potential to bring them down."

The governor's office says a report on the first phase of the MOU's objectives concludes that there are significant economic and environmental benefits possible to Maine and New Brunswick through closer coordination. The priority for the second phase, the governor's office adds, is to pursue efficient energy production and transmission in a manner that addresses climate change. A phase-two report, due this fall, will analyze the feasibility and challenges of specific collaborative approaches.

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