For Immediate Release: August 6, 2014
Contact: Emily Figdor, 207-253-1965
Environment Maine Endorses Mike Michaud for Governor
Cutler Withdrew From Consideration Due to Group’s Plan to Seek Members’ Input
Portland—Environment Maine today endorsed Mike Michaud for Governor. The group announced that its staff and volunteers would knock on thousands of doors over the next three months to help elect him.
“Mike Michaud is the candidate with the best track record to protect Maine’s environment,” said Environment Maine Director Emily Figdor. “He has a stellar voting record on the environment in Congress and a strong vision to protect Maine’s natural legacy and transition our state to clean energy. We are proud to endorse Mike and will work hard to ensure he’s our next governor.”
Michaud has a 100 percent voting record on the environment this session from Environment Maine’s federation, Environment America, and a 92 percent lifetime score over his six terms in Congress. He first ran for the Maine Legislature at the age of 24 to clean up the Penobscot River, which was being polluted by the paper mill where he worked.
“Gov. Paul LePage has spent nearly four years dismantling the programs and policies that protect Maine’s environment and natural resources. Gov. LePage has been nothing short of a disaster for Maine’s environment,” said Figdor.
This legislative session alone Gov. LePage vetoed bills to restore protections to Maine’s lakes (LD 1744), jump start food hubs across the state to expand Maine agriculture (LD 1431), and increase solar power in Maine (LD 1252). He also proposed to raid funds from the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to provide corporate handouts, as part of his failed “Open for Business Zones.” And his administration tried to gut Maine’s longstanding rules that protect groundwater from mining pollution and hold mining companies financially liable for cleanup. Late last year, Gov. LePage caused Statoil—the equivalent of Apple or Google in the energy industry—to pull out of the state, abandoning its plans to develop the first-of-its-kind off-shore wind project in Maine.
Environment Maine also announced that Eliot Culter withdrew from consideration for the endorsement because the group, which has 20,000 members and supporters across the state, had planned to seek its members’ input on the decision, in addition to considering the candidates’ environmental positions and records and evaluating their responses to a questionnaire.
Figdor explained that Environment Maine is concerned with Cutler’s positions on several issues: he is open to mining in Maine; wants to cut citizens out of the review process for major environmental rules by overhauling the Board of Environmental Protection; and supports requiring Mainers to publicly finance new natural gas pipeline infrastructure in New England—which is without precedent nationally.
Cutler worked for Senator Ed Muskie right after college and then on energy issues in the Carter administration before spending the last 35 years working as an attorney in the private sector in Washington, DC and elsewhere.
“We’re concerned about his positions on several issues and have to take his word on what he’d do as a public official, whereas Mike has a long track record in the Maine Legislature and in Congress that we can look to and have great confidence in,” said Figdor.
Environment Maine runs a Portland-based canvass each summer and worked with Protect South Portland to run the neighbor-to-neighbor campaign in South Portland that resulted in the City Council passing a landmark ordinance last month to block a tar sands terminal on the shores of Casco Bay.
“We’re excited to use our grassroots know-how to talk with thousands of Mainers about Mike’s record and vision on the environment and then turn them out on Election Day. So much is on the line in November, and we simply cannot squander another four years, especially given the urgency of global warming,” concluded Figdor.