Statement on Gov. Janet Mills’ Maine Climate Council Bill

Maine poised for leadership with bipartisan bill with strong clean energy and emission targets
For Immediate Release

Maine is setting a great example for the rest of the country, with Republicans and Democrats working together to thwart climate change, a threat that doesn’t discriminate against any political affiliation.

Today, the Maine state legislature heard Gov. Janet Mills’ climate action bill, L.D. 1679, “An Act to Create the Maine Climate Council to Assist Maine to Mitigate, Prepare for and Adapt to Climate Change” sponsored by state Sen. David Woodsome (R-York). If adopted, this bipartisan bill sets targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 and 45 percent by 2030. It also sets goal of requiring that 80 percent of the electricity sold in Maine come from renewable energy by 2030, with a longer term target of 100 percent by 2050.

The Maine Climate Council will will focus on the broad impacts of climate change. It will report progress to the public every two years and update the Maine State Climate Plan every four years.

Environment Maine’s Director Carissa Maurin issued the following statement:

“Maine is showing the nation that we are a leader in solving environmental issues, first with our first-in-the-nation state-wide polystyrene ban and now with bipartisan action on climate change including a target to meet 100 percent of Maine’s electricity with renewable energy. I am proud that our legislators are setting aside their differences for the good of all Mainers.

“Lawmakers and Gov. Mills are telling the world that the Maine is serious about addressing the climate crisis and making significant, measurable progress to cut carbon pollution.

“Our state has so much at stake, from the vital lobster industry to our beautiful shoreline and forests. The health of Mainers is also suffering from a surge of lyme disease and increased adult asthma rates, exacerbated by rising temperatures. Shifting to 100 percent renewable energy will help address our largest environmental impact by reducing fossil fuel use. Renewable energy makes us safer and healthier and protects our communities from global warming and hazardous air pollution.”

“The main barriers to 100% renewable energy have been political rather than technological. Maine is rising above that to move America toward a clean and renewable future.

We look forward to working with the governor and our fellow Mainers to get clean energy on the grid and reduce our carbon emissions. Thank you, Gov. Mills and Sen. Woodsome for your bold commitment to combat climate change.”

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Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization committed to defending our environment through independent research, tough-minded advocacy and spirited grassroots action.