Today, business leaders gathered at the State House to release a letter written to Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, urging strong and effective action to help address the threat of climate change. The letter was signed by more than 500 Maine businesses, including Hannaford Bros. Co., Lee Auto Malls, Oakhurst Dairy, Reed & Reed, Mattson Development, the Harraseeket Inn, and hundreds more from throughout Maine.
The letter, delivered to the two senators’ Maine offices today, says, in part: “We urge you to do all you can to ensure that the United States acts swiftly and effectively in 2010 to address the threat of global warming. Now is the time for leadership. Maine people are counting on you to help”
Maine Senators Snowe and Collins could play a vital role in advancing bi-partisan, comprehensive legislation on climate and clean energy. Sen. Collins currently is the cosponsor of a major climate bill, and both senators have provided leadership on these issues in the past. The business letter is being released as momentum is building for congressional action on these issues.
Two weeks ago, on March 9, Senator Collins and a bipartisan group of 14 senators met with President Barack Obama and several cabinet members at the White House to discuss proposals for climate and clean energy legislation. Meanwhile Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Joe Lieberman (I-CT), and John Kerry (D-MA) have been developing a climate and clean energy bill, which may be announced publicly in the next two to three weeks.
These developments, and a growing sense that Maine’s economy can benefit from clean energy development, make today’s press announcement particularly timely.
“As a manager at two energy-related companies, I understand how important energy issues are to Maine businesses,” says<strong< Heather Blease, Savi Systems, Thayer Corporation in Auburn
“We need to take decisive action to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and increase our energy security,” says <strong
“We see ourselves as in the ‘energy’ business, not just the ‘oil’ business and believe it is past time for other fuel dealers and heating technicians to do the same,” says <strong
“The Clean Energy and Climate Change legislation that is being discussed will provide long-term stability that we have not had in the past,” says <strong
“Climate change poses a serious threat to our tourism and hospitality industry,” says <strong
Today’s announcement by Maine businesses comes at a time when a broad range of global companies also have announced support for federal climate and clean energy legislation. Here are excerpts from other letters, and some of the businesses signed onto these statements:
“Legislation is needed to secure our country’s energy supply while capping and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through robust, market-based approach. Climate change is real and the longer we delay taking prudent action, the higher the cost for future generations. Legislation is our best opportunity to get a low-cost, effective national response this year.”
“With this joint letter [to the U.S. Senate], we wish to make clear to the American public and their elected officials that leading voices in the business community believe it is in our interest for the U.S. to act swiftly to address climate change. Passing legislation to cap greenhouse gas emissions will send a strong signal to the private sector, unleashing new business opportunities, leveling the playing field for all U.S. businesses and ensuring that the U.S. economy can compete in growing global markets for clean energy. America can and must prosper in the face of growing climate change… For the sake of our economy, our national security and our children’s future, we urge you to act without delay.”
“There are clear indications of an ongoing global climate change. The root cause seems to be the emission of greenhouse gases due to human activity. A change in the climate could potentially alter the conditions that govern human life and lead to major costs. Therefore, we believe that the global community should aim at reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to acceptable levels as rapidly as possible.”
Read letter to Sens. Collins and Snowe as well as statements by business owners and individuals.
Business leaders gathered at the State House to release a letter written to Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, urging strong and effective action to help address the threat of climate change. The letter was signed by more than 500 leading Maine businesses such as Hannaford Bros. Co., Lee Auto Malls, Oakhurst Dairy, Verso Paper, and Mattson Development. These 500 businesses built on the effort of more than 100 businesses who sent a letter to Maine’s entire Congressional delegation in 2009 urging them to lead the fight to help support climate change legislation.
Letter and list of businesses signed on in support of climate action
Quotes by Maine business leaders in support of climate action
Chart of Maine GDP and global warming emissions
Statements by Individuals, Businesses, and Organizations:
Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Deputy Director
Heather Blease, Owner, Savi Systems LLC and Director of Sales and Marketing, Thayer Corporation
Scott Cowger, Co-owner, Maple Hill Farm Bed & Breakfast Inn and Conference Center
George Haselton, co-owner of Harvest Energy and Rockport Mechanical
Milton McBreairty, Director, Renewable Energies at Larkin Enterprises, Inc.
Kate Burgess Rush, Evolo Home Center, LLC and Evolo Energy Solutions
Statements made by other Maine businesses at February 4, 2009 press conference:
Statement by Adam Lee, President, Lee Auto Malls
Statement by Jack Parker, President & Ceo, Reed & Reed
Statement by Tom Tietenberg, Mitchell Family Professor of Economics, Emeritus at Colby College
Statement by Jim Wellehan, owner and CEO, Lamey-Wellehan Shoes