This has been a busy week for CLF, as we continue to respond to the ongoing efforts of the LePage Administration to weaken Maine’s environmental protections. On Monday, February 14, immediately prior to the scheduled public hearing on the LePage proposals, the LePage Administration submitted an actual bill, LD1, that encompassed some but not all of the proposed “reforms.” The public hearing immediately following this announcement, held by the Legislature’s Regulatory Reform Committee, was attended by hundreds of opponents, including many members of CLF. At the hearing, CLF Maine Director Sean Mahoney submitted testimony to the Committee criticizing any attempts to drive a wedge between strong environmental protections and a vibrant economy. It is imperative that this Administration understands that much of Maine’s economy is built on its unique environment and quality of place.
At a separate press event at the State House on the same day, CLF Maine Board Member Hoddy Hildreth lent additional words to the CLF cause, stating his opposition to the rollbacks and calling the attempt to revive the false choice between pickerels and payrolls “hogwash.”
What now? CLF has filed additional requests to the Governor’s office and the Department of Environmental Protection under the Freedom of Access Act in connection with the new bill, LD1. Many of the original proposed “reforms” will now be the subject of separate bills that will be presented later in the session, and CLF will be providing updates as we get information. An initial public hearing on LD1 is now scheduled for February 24 at the Cross Building at 10 a.m. We invite you to join CLF and our allies at this hearing, and show the Administration that the environment is important to the people of Maine.