November 26, 2021
During this season of gratitude, we have a lot to be thankful for. Here are some positive news stories from this week that we want to share with you.
We will start with an op-ed in the Ellsworth American by NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols. Sarah writes about the importance of reducing the amount of waste that is created as well as the best path forward for Maine, which includes passing LD 1639 to close a loophole in state law that allows out-of-state waste to fill up our State-owned landfills. Read the op-ed, and then learn more about LD 1639 and how you can get involved to ensure its passage in the 2022 legislative session.
November is National Native American Heritage Month, and we are happy to read that Charles Sams III is the next National Park Service director, the first Indigenous person to ever lead the NPS in its 105 years of existence. According to this CBS news story, “Sams…is Cayuse and Walla Walla [and] is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.” Congratulations to Sams and to the National Park Service.
Do you know a young environmental leader between the ages of 15 and 30? Then NRCM Rising wants to encourage you to nominate them for a 2022 Brookie Award. Read more from the Portland Press Herald.
In some of the best news of the week, Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection has suspended the license for CMP’s controversial transmission corridor through western Maine. This came after Monday’s DEP public hearing. Governor Mills wrote to CMP to urge the company to stop cutting until a decision is made in court about the project, and after more than 70 people rallied outside the DEP building last week to urge the DEP Commissioner to suspend the permit after the November 2 vote by Maine people to stop the corridor. Also this week, several Maine lawmakers from both parties wrote a letter to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to stop the CMP corridor project as well.
The Town of Brunswick is making some changes to its public bus system to make it more accessible to more people.
In other transportation news, NPR did a story on how it was once a pie in the sky idea to give up gas-powered vehicles for electric ones. But now, it is becoming more of a reality as people and companies work to reduce emissions in the midst of the climate crisis.
New England’s largest solar farm, on land in the western Maine town of Farmington, is now online and powering 17,000 homes across New England. Also in Farmington, a climate justice advocacy group led by young people, called the Sunrise Movement, has created a hub in this Franklin County town.
And finally this week, it was announced that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will do a full environmental review of the four dams on the Kennebec River between Waterville and Skowhegan that are blocking access for Atlantic salmon and other sea-run fish to important habitat. NRCM has been working to get these dams removed. Learn more about how you can get involved.
November 18, 2021
The resounding Yes vote on Question 1 was more than two weeks ago, but Central Maine Power (CMP) continues to move ahead cutting a large swath through western Maine forests for its controversial transmission line. This week, two environmental groups that supported the corridor now say that CMP hasn’t met a major condition of its permit — conservation. Read more from Maine Public.
Speaking of CMP, it was announced this week that Maine homes and businesses that get their electricity via CMP and Versant will likely see an increase in their 2022 monthly bills to tune of about $30, with CMP customers seeing an 83% increase in their electricity supply rates.
NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro is quoted in this Public News Service piece about the urgent need for passage of the Build Back Better Act in order to curb climate change.
We encourage you to spend a few minutes watching and listening to this multimedia piece about forests from Emergence Magazine. The piece, titled, “They Carry Us with Them: The Great Tree Migration,” is powerful and based in Maine.
Congratulations to Baxter State Park’s new natural resource director, Nava Tabak.
And congratulations, again, to NRCM’s 2021 People’s Choice Award recipient, Sam Saltonstall. He is featured in a Working Waterfront article this week—celebrating his many years of environmental advocacy, and his NRCM award.
This week, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was praised by Maine’s Congressional delegation and Maine Governor Janet Mills. Read an editorial from the Portland Press Herald, too.
Voters in Gouldsboro overwhelmingly support a moratorium on the development of commercial fish farm infrastructure. They voted at a special town meeting earlier this week. Learn more from the Bangor Daily News.
We highlighted NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols’ appearance on a radio show last week to talk about Maine’s first-in-the-nation EPR for Packaging law. Well, Sarah’s back, and this time she was featured on both the PBS News Hour and Maine Public’s Maine Calling. Go, Sarah!
November 12, 2021
Read a recent column by Bill Nemitz in the Portland Press Herald about the November 2nd vote on Question 1, including a quote from NRCM’s Pete Didisheim.
Also this week, NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator Josh Caldwell wrote an op-ed in the Kennebec Journal about the immediate realities of climate change and what they mean for Maine people.
Another NRCM staff member making news this week is Sarah Nichols, our Sustainable Maine Director. She and Maine State Representative Nicole Grohoski were recently featured in this news story from “Under the Radar” with WGBH. Listen to the full recording.
Maine State Park campgrounds broke attendance records of visitors. This is the second year in a row that 12 State Parks set new records.
And finally this week, some news about the $2.4 billion Maine is expecting from Washington, DC, in the newly signed infrastructure bill.