Groups draw line in sand to support Clean Power Plan
By Daniel Dunkle
Village Soup news story
Rockland — A group of concerned citizens, including speakers from the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Maine Conservation Alliance, gathered on Sandy Beach in Rockland’s South End July 30 to combat climate change.
They waved signs calling for action on climate change, chanted slogans and formed a line in the sand to show the need for action on the issue. Members of the groups argued the warming of our planet caused by carbon emissions from power plants threatens not only our ocean environment, but our health.
Beth Ahearn of the Maine Conservation Alliance said climate change is here and undeniable, and it is affecting the Gulf of Maine more quickly than other regions. The warming of the water is leading to acidification, increasing the threat to our lobster fishery.
The good news, she said, is that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expected to soon release regulations on carbon pollution in the U.S. as part of the Clean Power Plan.
Todd Martin of the Natural Resources Council of Maine said residents need to send a message to Maine lawmakers, especially Sen. Susan Collins, to support this effort.
He spoke of the problem of childhood asthma in Maine and the increase in the number of days when the state experiences bad ozone caused by pollution coming in from other states, making it more difficult for residents with respiratory issues.
Members of Rockland’s own environmental movement, Renew Rockland, held a sign that said, “Don’t Gas The Bay.” Ron Huber of the Friends of Penobscot Bay and Renew Rockland said the group is concerned about plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in Rockland, arguing natural gas brings sprawl and run-off that hurts the bay and the lobster industry. He said some argue natural gas is a transition fuel, cleaner than coal plants, but he said some fear the transition will only be complete when all of the gas is gone.