Greg Cunningham

Blog
Putting the Cart Before the Horse: Opening Closed Areas Isn’t Worth the Risk
by Greg Cunningham

New England’s cod populations are at their lowest levels in history, thanks to decades of chronic overfishing and habitat destruction. Fisheries scientists agree that protecting vital fish habitat is key to restoring these once-plentiful fish species. How does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) respond? Yesterday NOAA proposed to allow new bottom trawling and other forms of commercial fishing in areas of New England’s ocean that have been protected for almost twenty years.

Blog
Maine PUC Approves Plan to Lower Power Bills with Increased Efficiency; Now it’s Legislature’s Turn
by Greg Cunningham

The Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) took important steps this week to increase energy efficiency in the state and pass those savings along to Maine’s electric customers. On Tuesday, the PUC issued its final order unanimously approving the Efficiency Maine Trust’s Triennial Plan, the comprehensive document that outlines the strategies, programs, budgets and estimated savings…

Blog
To Help GOM Cod, NMFS Should Not Touch Closed Areas
by Greg Cunningham

It’s been widely reported that at its February meeting, the New England Fishery Management Council voted to ask the National Marine Fisheries Service to take emergency action on Gulf of Maine cod for the 2012 fishing year. The measures proposed, including a mere 3-13% reduction in the catch limit, were notable largely for their failure to address the condition of the depleted cod stock. But there is an aspect of the proposed package that has received little attention, which is troubling, because it would have NMFS open up five of the six existing areas currently closed to groundfishing.

Blog
Maine DEP Cuts the Juniper Ridge Landfill Expansion Down to Size
by Greg Cunningham

Earlier this week the Maine Department of Environmental Protection made a formal determination that Maine would benefit from an expansion of the state-owned Juniper Ridge Landfill located in Old Town. In doing so, it cut in half what the State and Juniper’s private manager Casella Waste Systems Inc.’s subsidiary NEWSME had asked for, authorizing an expansion that would increase capacity of the landfill by up to 9.35 million cubic yards, thereby adding ten-plus years of capacity. By cutting the proposal down to size, the DEP sent the clear message that it doesn’t want Maine to continue to be the dumping ground for New England’s waste. That relatively conservative approach is a good start but more work needs to be done to define the role of Juniper and other landfills and to fully address other flaws in Maine’s waste management system.

Blog
A Moment to Reconsider Solid Waste Policies in Maine
by Greg Cunningham

Controversy surrounding the proposed Juniper Ridge Landfill expansion and the state’s recent acquisition of the Dolby landfill have elevated the debate on proper management of Maine’s solid waste and reawakened the ire that Mainers feel toward policies that create incentives for the importation of out-of-state waste and the disposal of waste that could be reused…

Blog
Mainers Want Energy Efficient and Clean Electricity
by Greg Cunningham

                Wouldn’t it be great if Maine law required that our power companies must save their customers money by investing in the cheapest form of energy, known as energy efficiency, while simultaneously ensuring that the sources of power sold in Maine increasingly come from clean, renewable energy sources?  If you agree, you are not alone.…

Blog
LePage Administration Yields to CLF Call for Transparency, but with a Catch
by Greg Cunningham

In an ongoing battle between the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Administration of Governor Paul LePage over the release of public documents related to his regulatory reform proposals and “red tape audits,” the LePage Administration Thursday relented and agreed with CLF’s legal conclusion that Maine’s Freedom of Access Act (FOAA) requires the Governor’s office to disclose documents related to the development of his regulatory agenda and staffing that were generated during his post-election transition.