Each month, we highlight news stories and opinion pieces related to NRCM’s work to protect Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife.
February 14th was a BIG day for Maine’s environment. The Land Use Planning Commission’s (LUPC) seven Commissioners voted (5-2) to support the recommendation of the LUPC staff to reject Wolfden Resources’ request to rezone land at Pickett Mountain in the Katahdin region so that it could build a mine. NRCM, our partners, and hundreds of Mainers spoke out against the mine, with many in attendance at the LUPC meeting in Brewer. Read more about this decision in our news release, on News Center Maine’s website, and from the Bangor Daily News.
NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro is quoted in this article about offshore wind port siting locations. Jack says, “Climate change is the single biggest threat to our woods, our waters, our coasts [and] our communities. That requires fast and ambitious action to switch to renewable energy.”
Penobscot Nation tribal ambassador Maulian Bryant wrote this Bangor Daily News op-ed to urge the Land Use Planning Commission to reject the proposal by Wolfden Resources to build a mine in the Katahdin region.
Want to learn more about Maine Big Night? Head to Farmington on March 13 for a talk by Greg LeClair, founder of Maine Big Night, which has volunteers monitor amphibian migration. Greg was a 2022 NRCM Rising Brookie Award winner for his work. You can hear more from Greg in a podcast with NRCM.
A recent op-ed in the Bangor Daily News by Jeremy Cluchey of The Nature Conservancy in Maine encourages readers to give electric school buses a chance after a study of the Mount Desert Island High School electric bus was released.
Maine Public and the Bangor Daily News both reported that the Land Use Planning Commission’s (LUPC) staff recommendation to the LUPC Commissioners to deny Wolfden Resources’ request to rezone to allow for mining at Pickett Mountain in the Katahdin region.
As the Department of Environmental Protection decides on the Advanced Clean Cars II rules, which were supposed to be voted on in late December but were delayed due to a catastrophic storm in Maine, Barry Woods of ReVision Energy dispels the myth that our electric grid isn’t prepared to handle an increase in electric car charging in this op-ed in the Portland Press Herald.
NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro is quoted in this article about a bill (LD 2077) being discussed in the Legislature that NRCM supports, which would slow down natural gas infrastructure expansion in Maine.
News Center Maine also recently spoke with Jack and other participants of offshore wind port discussions.
More than 500 towns, organizations, and trails clubs have signed on in support of the Maine Trails Bond (LD 1156), and Farmington is one of the towns that recently signed on. Read more in this Sun Journal article, and then visit nrcm.org/programs/forests-wildlife/maine-trails/ to see a full list of supporters, as well as information about what the trails bond would do for Maine.
NRCM Sustainable Maine Outreach Coordinator Vanessa Berry testified in support of a bill (LD 2134) that would use some unclaimed bottle deposit funds to create refill and reuse container incentives.
Learn more about all of the bills mentioned here by visiting our Legislative Bill Tracking page.
On January 23, the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee heard testimony on a bill, LD 2077, which would address the looming customer risks associated with utility gas infrastructure expansion, as well as the human health and climate risks that come along with the operation of the gas system. NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro was quoted in an article by Fox 23 as well as in the Portland Press Herald. You can also read Jack’s full testimony on the bill here.
Also on January 23, Governor Mills held an emergency meeting of the Maine Climate Council, to discuss the recent devastating storms across Maine and up Maine’s coast, and how the state can better plan and prepare for more extreme weather.
NRCM’s Jack Shapiro spoke with the Republican Journal in advance of a community meeting in Searsport on January 20, to talk with local residents and others about an offshore wind port.
NRCM Sustainable Maine Outreach Coordinator Vanessa Berry spoke to the Maine Monitor about a report showing that waste going into Maine landfills has increased by 34 percent. Vanessa said, “[The increase in waste is] very much like an overflowing bathtub. Recycling and landfilling and all of these other solutions are kind of cleaning up the mess of all. We really need to focus on turning off the tap.”
On December 31st, NRCM held our 16th annual Polar Bear Dip & Dash, raising more than $39,000 in support of our climate and clean energy work. Read and watch more about the event from these media outlets:
- News Center Maine: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/news/local/outreach/polar-bear-dip-dash-natural-resources-council-maine-climate-plunge-ncrm/97-90f9b9c2-d462-4dea-bae4-e55555124182
- WGME: https://wgme.com/news/local/mainers-brave-cold-waters-in-annual-polar-bear-dip-for-climate-action-fundraising
- PPH: https://www.pressherald.com/2024/01/01/2023-was-warmer-wetter-december-snow-in-portland-forget-about-it/
- You can also view our album of photos at https://www.facebook.com/media/set?vanity=NRCMenvironment&set=a.766081352231682
Also on December 31st, NRCM CEO Rebeccah Sanders was featured on Radio Maine with Dr. Lisa Belisle. You can listen to and watch the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx7ZlVbEiQg
NRCM Senior Climate Advocate Rebecca Schultz is featured in this story about a bill to create accountability and better service from Maine’s electric utilities.
NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro is featured in this Sierra Magazine story about a unique coalition that passed a landmark offshore wind bill in 2023.
Speaking of offshore wind, be sure to read this opinion piece by a 17-year-old member of Maine Youth for Climate Justice.
And ICYMI, the Bangor Daily News has a piece about how a lot of coastal Maine communities are seriously discussing and making plans for how climate change will affect them.