Maine’s environment is a cornerstone of our economy and an integral part of our culture and heritage. That’s why as Attorney General, I stood up to Scott Pruitt to fight against the rollback of greenhouse gas emissions standards, and to force the EPA to meet Clean Air Act requirements. That’s also why, as a legislator, I consistently voted in favor of clean air and clean water, while also preserving public lands. I was proud to receive high marks during my six years in the legislature from several environmental organizations.
However, for the past eight years, Maine’s governor has worked systematically to prevent Maine from becoming energy independent and from fighting climate change. Now, my Republican opponent Shawn Moody, who denies climate science, is prepared to continue that legacy.
My Administration will chart a new direction – one that will see Maine reclaim its place as a national leader in energy efficiency and renewable energy. We can reduce our spending on fossil fuels by billions of dollars, and at the same time create thousands of new jobs. We can reduce pollution, keep our air, water, and earth clean, and embrace our historic legacy as a state that champions its natural resources.
In order to achieve a brighter, cleaner future, my Administration will:
- Encourage decentralized energy production and widespread solarization through a net metering policy and a system of fair compensation for rooftop solar owners and electric utilities.
- Change existing regulations to allow larger solar farms and more individuals and organizations that can participate in community solar projects.
- Create carve outs for solar projects that benefit low income residents, municipalities, and community solar projects.
- Continue to support the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Efficiency Maine Trust, and closely monitor Maine’s utility involvement in ISO New England to be sure Maine’s interests are protected.
- Pass legislation that supports development of offshore wind power.
- Set an aggressive goal to reduce climate pollution 80 percent by 2030. Now is the time to show the political will and leadership to make it happen.
- Instruct the DEP to strive for the highest practicable water quality standards on Maine rivers.
- Staff the relevant agencies with experts who believe in the mission of protecting Maine’s environment.
- Appoint members of the Public Utilities Commission committed to pursuing the needs of consumers.
- Work with business and industry to benchmark Maine’s electric and gas transmission costs and energy costs and to find ways from across the globe to drive costs down. We can do this. The evolution of offshore wind costs and large array solar costs are good examples of energy sources that appear poised to begin to lower the cost of fighting global warming.
- Champion new funding for the Land for Maine’s Future program. One of the state’s most popular programs, LMF has enhanced the state’s long-term economic health by conserving key assets like working farms, working forests, waterfronts for commercial fishing opportunities and key tourism and recreation sites across Maine.
- Enhance working forest land by once again seeking federal Forest Legacy funding to support timber-sector jobs, ensure sustainable forestry, conserve wildlife habitat, and guarantee recreational access.
- Help lead an ambitious effort to diversify the Maine’s rural communities and the state’s forest economy by attracting capital investments, and developing greater, more diverse economic prosperity for communities impacted by recent mill closures.
- Establish the Office of Policy Innovation to provide independent analysis to the Governor and Legislature on a variety of state economic, community development and natural resource issues.
- Invest in wildlife habitat, recreation and conservation actions.
- Support consistent state bond funding for the municipal stream crossing program to help towns improve their infrastructure, keep roads safe for all users, and enhance habitat for fish.
- Promote a 21st century transportation infrastructure and system that supports and encourages all modes of transportation, especially those that will reduce carbon pollution.