by John Richardson
Environmentalists are holding a noontime rally in Monument Square in Portland to call for the passage of federal clean energy legislation that’s pending in the U.S. Senate.
The event, attended by a small crowd of activists carrying signs, was organized by a coalition of more than 20 environmental groups concerned about climate change. Speakers at the noon rally included elected officials from the state Legislature and Portland City Council.
“If our senators can hold hearings on steroids in baseball, then they damn sure should take this issue seriously,” said Rep. David Van Wie, D-New Gloucester. “This isn’t a game. This is our planet.”
The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed in the House of Representatives in June and is pending in the senate. Proponents say the bill would create jobs, reduce our energy costs and dependence on fossil fuels and slow climate change. They also say support from Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Republicans, could be key in passing the legislation.