They gather at the offices of Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to voice their opposition to policies that endanger the environment.
By Jessica Lowell
Central Maine newspapers news story
AUGUSTA — With about two dozen people crowded around, Greg Kimber on Monday slid a petition and some printed material under the glass partition in the reception area of the Augusta office of Sen. Angus King, independent of Maine, to staff assistant Joseph Shagoury.
Kimber and other protesters wanted to urge their elected officials to vote against the cabinet picks of President-elect Donald J. Trump, whom they consider to be climate change deniers. The brief vigil in frigid temperatures was part of the national Day Against Denial, organized by climate and environmental groups, such as 350.org and 350 Maine, grassroots organizations that are working to address climate change.
Kimber’s petition, signed by residents of the Farmington area, picked up a few more signatures from those who showed up carrying signs from as far away as Jonesport and Searsport and as close as Winslow and Hallowell.
“We want to urge them to vote against these cabinet picks and really put them through their paces,” Kimber said.
The nominees include former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as secretary of energy; Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Montana, as secretary of the interior; and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Kimber said he was surprised at the turnout. He put out the call for the Augusta event only about a week ago.
Following the stop at King’s office, Kimber and other protesters continued on to the Augusta office of Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to drop off a petition there, too.
In a separate event, more than 100 protesters were expected to gather at Collins’ Portland office. On Tuesday, statewide protests against Trump attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions are planned for Collins’ offices in Augusta, Bangor, Caribou, Biddeford, Lewiston and Portland, according to a press release from former State Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland.
Among other assignments, King serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Collins serves on the Appropriations Committee, the subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, among other assignments.
Edie Smith, King’s state director, said King, who has received phone calls on the cabinet nominees, has not yet made a decision on anyone. His Washington spokesman, Scott Ogden, said in a statement that King is evaluating the nominees.