Augusta – Governor LePage says he wants to make Maine more business friendly. Thursday in Augusta he attended a roundtable with business leaders who aims to make sure the state also remains environmentally friendly.
The governor’s red tape meetings are happening all over the state, including this one in Ellsworth last month, trying to find ways to make Maine more business friendly. Results from those red tape audits have revealed that the number one obstacle for Maine businesses center around DEP and LURC regulations. The fear among folks in this room, like Pete Didisheim, Advocacy Director at the the Natural Resources Council of Maine, is that the new leaders in Augusta will remove safeguards that they say are vital to Maine. “We’re all for efficient implementation of our laws,” says Didisheim. “We’re not for weakening the laws so there’s room for improvement and implementation but we don’t want to lower the standards.”
28 different people, from all backgrounds, took turns telling the governor their business and quality of life depend upon Maine’s environment being protected and maintained. Folks like William Bennett, Pres. & CEO, of Oakhurst. “After all the cows that produce Oakhurst milk literally eat drink and breathe the Maine environment so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep Maine’s environment clean, safe and healthy.”
Unity College student Deirdre Birbeck also had a chance to speak directly to the governor. “It seems to me that my generation’s future jobs will depend on careful stewarding of our natural resources.”
Even an Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson weighed in on the topic of protecting the environment. “I feel as though I’ve been a human barometer for climate change over the many miles of my career,” she said. “I’ve noticed things like changing ambient air quality, erosion, run off.”>/p>
After listening to the message the Governor said he’s in favor of regulations that are based on common sense and science. “And the folks here making a living want to protect their resource,” LePage told the crowd. “They want to be good stewards. They want good strong environmental laws and I believe in good strong environmental laws.”
It seems these two sides may be able to find some common ground.