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Energy Task Force 

The report recommends seven short-term actions that expand on the state’s energy and transportation programs to address rising prices.

Examples include streamlining of all Maine energy resources, with a 211 hot line that offers information about energy programs and heating oil assistance.

It envisions expansion of weatherization to 5,000 Maine homes before the winter arrives, and increased audits of homes and businesses by hundreds of energy service providers, such as meter readers and heating oil company drivers who make periodic stops at most Maine homes.

John Kerry, chair of the task force that wrote the report, says the nation and state have become dangerously dependent on unreliable and expensive foreign oil and natural gas.

The report says steep rises in oil prices can have a particularly acute impact in Maine, where 99.9% of its residents depend on petroleum products to fuel their vehicles, and 80% are dependent on oil to heat their homes.