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Mon Sep 23, 2013, 06:41 PM

LePage intervention in Statoil deal could damage Maine’s image in global energy

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/23/business/business-consultant-lepage-intervention-in-statoil-deal-could-damage-maines-image-in-global-energy-market/?ref=comments

AUGUSTA, Maine — New revelations about how Gov. Paul LePage’s administration worked behind the scenes to stymie Statoil’s offshore energy project are renewing worries about the state’s image in the eyes of the international business community.

Prior to pushing legislation in June that essentially put the Norwegian company’s project on hold while the University of Maine could prepare a competing proposal, the LePage administration initially attempted “a much more aggressive effort to explicitly void” the state’s agreement with Statoil, according to a report published Sunday by the Associated Press, which obtained emails and documents regarding Statoil’s project in Maine through a Freedom of Access Act request.

If true, the revelations further hurt Maine’s image in the eyes of the international business community, according to Annette Bossler, an international business consultant based in Bremen.

“That Associated Press article is in every major U.S. national newspaper and it’s only a matter of days until it will get picked up by the international media,” Bossler told the Bangor Daily News on Monday. “It does not do much to improve Maine’s image, neither in the offshore wind energy industry or in general, because let’s face it — Statoil is not just in wind, their main business is oil and gas.”

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