The elections are now behind us and it’s time to get going again. The Natural Resources Council of Maine is committed to working with the new Mills Administration and all new (and former)
legislators to move forward. We are excited to start making serious progress protecting our environment. We have spent too much time in the past eight years just trying to save the environmental laws that generations of Mainers have worked hard to put in place. We have successfully held the line, and made a few gains, but we need to do so much more.
The impacts of climate change continue to worsen. Solar installations have proceeded very slowly because Maine has neglected opportunities to help solar users get going, while our neighboring states with supportive solar policies are charging ahead. The Land for Maine’s Future program has run out of funds to conserve lands that could be enjoyed by families everywhere. Our oceans are
being filled with plastics at a dire rate; a recent study predicts that by 2050, there will be more tons of plastic than fish in our seas. As of the election, 19 Maine towns have passed ordinances to reduce the use of single use plastic bags, but last year we had to defeat a measure that would have blocked towns from passing ordinances about another environmental issue: pesticide use.
It’s time to move forward. The latest United Nations climate report warns that consequences could be drastic with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes” if we don’t act quickly and intensively to address global warming by 2030. The majority of Mainers want our state to take charge, do our part, and increase renewable energy and efficiency. We need a serious commitment to replenish Land for Maine’s Future’s funds, to be able to conserve places that are special to citizens and communities throughout Maine. We need to help towns do more to lead through example on plastics and other sustainability issues, so that other towns can follow. We need to support these efforts, not block them at every turn.
NRCM is dedicated to protecting Maine’s environment. We look forward to working with the Mills Administration and Legislature so we can all get going again.
—Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM CEO
This column originally appeared in the Fall 2018 Maine Environment newsletter.
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