Here are some highlights from this month’s news stories and opinion pieces related to the environment, including Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife, in this month’s News & Noteworthy from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
September 30, 2021
If you are listening to NRCM’s Frontline Voices podcast (and why wouldn’t you be?!), you may already have heard the great news that Ford Motor Company is investing more than $11 billion in new production sites to build electric cars and trucks! Learn more from NBC News.
In more good renewable energy news, Governor Mills celebrated National Climate Week and Clean Energy Week at Dave’s World in Dover-Foxcroft. She was there to celebrate a milestone toward Maine’s goal of installing 100,000 high-efficiency heat pumps by 2025.
In some not-so-good news for Maine’s wildlife, the Portland Press Herald shares news that Atlantic Puffin chicks’ survival rate was down considerably over past years. If you haven’t traveled to see these beautiful summer visitors to Maine, we encourage you to add it to your must-do list for next summer (mid-June to mid-August).
Colin Woodard writes about Brookfield’s lawsuit against the State of Maine in regard to the company’s four dams on the Kennebec River. In the article, he writes, “Gov. Janet Mills’ spokesman Scott Ogden blasted the company in a written statement Tuesday, calling its suit ‘meritless’ and ‘a disappointing demonstration of the company’s continued unwillingness to partner with the State of Maine to solve this serious issue.'”
And finally this week, former Maine State Senator Michael Carpenter wrote an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News in support of LD 1626, a bill carried over from the 2021 legislative session, that would restore Tribal sovereignty to Maine’s Indigenous people. NRCM testified in support of this bill earlier this year, too. Read NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann’s testimony.
September 23, 2021
Read this Maine Public story to learn more about the Passamaquoddy tribe’s regaining control “of the site of an ancient fishing village located at a remote lake in Meddybemps, which in the tribe’s language means ‘place of many alewives.'”
Climate action can’t wait, and the Portland Press Herald editorial board calls on Congress to take action now. Learn more about Congress’ last, best chance at meaningful climate action in this Press Herald editorial.
Have you read the new book about the 16-year Penobscot River Restoration Project, From the Mountains to the Sea? Read a review of this book, which features photos and stories of this project and the people who made it possible (including NRCM and our partners) from the Portland Press Herald. Then head to your local bookstore to buy your copy today!
The City of Portland is making changes to reduce the municipality’s use of fossil fuels using renewable energy, electric vehicles, and more. Learn about their plans.
Did you know that food waste may be one of the most pressing climate issues facing Maine? Find out why in this Maine Public article.
Maine’s state motto is Dirigo, which means “I lead.” Treehugger.com shares a story about how Maine is once again a leader when it comes to holding companies accountable.
And finally, this news to celebrate National Public Lands Day this Saturday, September 25: The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry announced a new 30-mile hiking trail on the Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land, named the Great Circle Trail. The trail includes eight remote campsites. Learn more and start planning your adventure!
September 16, 2021
We are starting off this week’s News & Noteworthy with news related to Central Maine Power’s ads about Question 1 (the proposed CMP corridor), which are not true. They are using false information to scare people. In today’s Portland Press Herald column, Bill Nemitz called it “political hokum of the highest order.”
Some good news for electric car owners traveling to or through Wells in southern Maine: you can now charge your car at the Wells Public Library with a newly installed EV charging station!
More good news from southern Maine: Kittery has announced a new composting program for food scraps, compostable plastics, and other food waste.
Some great electric vehicle news: Mount Desert Island High School just purchased Maine’s first electric school bus! And, just a little further inland from MDI, Bangor’s police department purchased their first all-electric police car! Let’s hope other municipalities soon follow.
It’s great to have Mainers making changes like switching to electric cars, weatherizing their homes, taking public transit and more to reduce climate-changing pollution. But, as Maine’s climate warms due to climate change, how can you prepare your home to better withstand extreme storms and the more frequent power outages we are seeing because of them? Read this Portland Press Herald article by longtime staff writer Tux Turkel to get some answers to that question.
As you may know, Maine passed the first-in-the-nation Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging law in July, with Oregon also passing a law later in 2021. Read more about what these laws will do to shift responsibility for paying for recycling costs in this article from Grist.
For people wanting to be able to enjoy Moosehead Lake, Greenville just opened a new boat landing and park, which will allow for year-round access to this spectacular lake!
We will end this week’s News & Noteworthy with a big thank you and congratulations to Superintendent Tim Hudson upon his retirement. He retires after 50 years with the National Park Service and served as the first Superintendent in charge of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument since it was established in 2016. Thank you, Tim!
September 9, 2021
The big news today, which just happened moments ago, is that NRCM and our partners filed a lawsuit against Brookfield Renewable, owner of four dams on the Kennebec River, for breaking the law and killing endangered Atlantic salmon. You can read the full lawsuit filing and our news release here.
“Climate change is here,” according to a recent Bangor Daily News editorial. We couldn’t agree more. Now is the time for climate action.
Areas of southern Maine are at risk from sea-level rise. Read about the new report, “Tides, Taxes and New Tactics,” which states that 3,568 properties in just three southern Maine towns are vulnerable to a 1.6-foot level sea rise.
NRCM continues to oppose the plan by Canadian company Wolfden Resources to mine at Pickett Mountain, very near both Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. This week, NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett is quoted in an article about Wolfden’s updated rezoning petition to LUPC.
Greenpeace announced this week that they have appointed Ebony Twilley Martin as their first Black co-executive director.
To combat climate change, we need to end our dependence on fossil fuels and increase our use of renewable energy. According to the Biden Administration, “solar could provide nearly half of all US electricity by 2050.” Read more in Grist.
This week, Maine’s Congresswoman Chellie Pingree is hosting colleagues at Acadia National Park to discuss climate change impacts on this beloved park.
NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols continues to share information about Maine’s first-in-the-nation EPR for Packaging law, this time in an episode of WYNC Studios’ “The Takeaway.”