February 20, 2018 | By Keith Martin in Washington, DC

Maine imposed a moratorium on new wind farm construction.

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R) ordered a halt by executive order on January 24 and appointed a commission to study the effect of wind farms on tourism. The commission has no deadline to report.

The Conservation Law Foundation is challenging the action in the Maine superior court. It argues that the governor cannot unilaterally override a 2004 statute — the Maine Wind Energy Act — that provides for expedited permitting of wind farms.

LePage has asked the state legislature to amend the law to limit expedited permitting to certain remote locations in Aristook County in northern Maine.