The Natural Resources Council of Maine’s Media Relations & Advocacy Communications Director Colin Durrant shares his thoughts on the latest news related to Maine’s land, air, water, and wildlife each week. Here are this week’s stories:
March 19, 2020
COVID-19 has upended our way of life and working in Maine, and NRCM is no different. To learn how the Natural Resources Council of Maine is adapting to help stem the spread of this virus read our CEO’s recent message.
The Secretary of State said opponents of the CMP corridor gathered enough valid signatures to get a referendum on the November ballot, and the Department of Environmental Protection issued a draft permit for the transmission line.
In another sign of disrespect for Mainers, Central Maine Power (CM)P says it’s intent on continuing to try and move forward with its controversial CMP corridor despite the fact that a citizen referendum is underway for voters to make their voice heard on the project.
Before they ended the legislative session abruptly because of the coronavirus, legislators were considering a ban on foreign influence in Maine’s elections based on Hydro-Quebec’s significant political spending and interference in the CMP corridor.
Most people don’t realize CMP’s parent company, Avangrid, operates a ton of natural gas subsidiary. Avangrid’s Maine natural gas subsidiary got slapped with a big fine for safety violations.
The future of our regional electric grid is in renewables like wind and solar! Governor Mills launched an effort to position Searsport as a hub for offshore wind energy and a new community solar farm could be coming soon to Belfast, offering people affordable clean energy prices. More solar could be coming to Ellsworth as well.
ecomaine will soon be hauling trash with two all-electric trucks.
Maine Beer Co.’s Dan Kleban had a wonderful Q&A in the Portland Press Herald about rooting his business in values, including protecting the environment.
Congressman Jared Golden and Senator Angus King introduced a great bill to give Gold Star families access to national parks.
March 6, 2020
Towns and Mainers from across the state spoke up in support of NRCM’s recycling reform bill. Of course, lobbyists for big corporations and the plastic industry showed up, too.
Orono town councilor Cheryl Robertson wrote a great op-ed in the Bangor Daily News supporting the bill from the perspective of a municipality struggling to save recycling, and Portland’s Sustainability Director Troy Moon was on NPR’s Weekend Edition explaining the bill to a national audience!
Plastics and Fossil Fuels
Two recent pieces in national magazines emphasize how closely our plastic pollution problem is tied to fossil fuel companies making profits and polluting the air.
This is pretty cool: Bangor Symphony Orchestra’s newest original performance puts climate data to music!
The Public Utilities Commission has kicked off a process that will result in a significant increase in solar energy across Maine, one of the exciting results of the climate and clean energy laws passed last year! RSU 14 may join a regional solar consortium because of the potential to save energy costs, and York may put solar on their landfill. Big trucks are going electric, too.
Foreign Interference and CMP Corridor
As part of its expensive lobbying effort to save the controversial CMP corridor the international energy giant Hydro-Quebec (HQ) (which is solely owned by the Canadian province of Quebec) ran a full spread newspaper ad using the image of Baxter State Park that drew fire from many including the Friends of Baxter State Park who penned this op-ed slamming HQ in the Portland Press Herald.
This is a great letter to the editor about why we should defend Maine’s public lands from Central Maine Power’s illegal land grab as part of its CMP corridor project.
Three of the state’s top commissioners wrote a joint op-ed urging lawmakers to pass funding for the Land for Maine’s Future program. The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will be moving its headquarters to Kennebunk.