Electricity has become a necessity among many people today. People use it to watch movies, charge up phones and be able to see in the dark. Evan Zarkadas is a junior history major at the University of Maine at Presque Isle and chose this topic to be his presentation because he noticed that Maine has to pay higher prices for electricity. Our electricity doesn’t come from the United States, it comes from Canada. “Maine is the eighth most expensive state for energy costs,” Evan said to the crowd of students.
Evan had plenty of slides, some showing graphs of how much Maine people pay for electricity and others on where transmission lines are located. He also discussed a new power line that may be going in. Evan says the idea didn’t come overnight. “I saw some articles in a newspaper and some other publications and some news. For example, the closure of the Ashland biomass plant and the problems that they had with transmission. It is a big issue in the state and I wanted to see what I can do, as a young citizen, to help them.” Evan got most of his information from newspaper articles and government publications to collect his data. This took Evan a few months to get his initial thoughts in line.
Evan will be proposing his ideas to the Policy Scholar Committee in November and during this time, he will be sending letters to the governor and the state. “The end project is a report with a recommendation to change policy,” Larry Feinstein, his mentor, said. Larry helped Evan with some of the research, but let Evan work on his own. “He’s a very motivated and very dedicated and his researching was exceptional,” Larry said.
Evan is hoping that by giving the letters to members of the state legislature and the governor, it will help them make a decision to better Maine’s transmission and better distribute electricity.