Statement by NRCM Executive Director Brownie Carson
Good morning. We are here today to call on Maine’s congressional leaders, and the U.S. Congress as a whole, to make legislation aimed at addressing the threat of climate change one of their top priorities for 2009.
More than 100 Maine businesses join us in calling on Maine’s Senators and Representatives to help provide the leadership we need to deal with this challenge.
We recognize the enormous challenges currently facing our economy, here in Maine, across the nation and around the world.
Passage of an economic stimulus package, obviously, is the urgent order of business in our nation’s capital. We hope the final package includes focused investment initiatives that will boost green jobs – to help weatherize homes in Maine, stimulate clean energy projects that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and foster sustainable economic growth.
But enacting federal legislation to address global warming pollution must be pursued soon, as well. This year. Done well, climate legislation will be the next piece, of our economic recovery effort and will result in recovery not just to business-as-usual, but to a more sustainable, affordable, secure and self-reliant energy future.
Scientists report that global warming pollution is increasing.
They have documented the potential impacts in terms of sea level rise, species extinction, harms to our health, and widespread environmental and economic impacts.
Maine has a great deal to lose this century if we don’t as a society get on a path of reducing our global warming pollution by as much as 80% in the next 50 years.
But Maine also has a great deal to gain if we focus now on the types of clean energy and efficiency jobs and businesses that will be stimulated as national climate legislation is put into place.
There will be many policy details to be worked out—that is for a later day. But businesses here in Maine such as Oakhurst, Reed & Reed, Verso Paper, and Lee Auto Malls are stepping up to the plate and urging Maine’s representatives in Congress to do what Maine has so often done on environmental issues: show leadership.
In the tradition of Sen. Ed Muskie, we need the type of leadership now that puts in place climate legislation to dramatically reduce global warming pollution and protect our future.