Protecting our climate, energy and environment
Maine's environment is one of our greatest assets and a primary driver of our economy, but it's being affected by our changing climate. Here in Camden, Islesboro and Rockport, we are especially affected by changes on our coast, as it is vital to our way of life and our industries.
This session, my colleagues and I passed bills to keep our coastal environment healthy. We put a stop to oil drilling off the Maine coast, and we are phasing out the retail use of Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags that all-too-often end up in our oceans. We also advanced laws to support our fishing industries, from clarifying transaction laws in the elver fishery to improving the laws around shellfish sales. Laws like these will protect our coastal industries and the wildlife that inhabit our waters.
If we increase our use of renewable energy, we can reduce our impact on the environment while lowering energy costs and creating jobs. That's why we passed bills to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050 and to train workers in those fields. And while we're still reliant on energy from privately owned utilities, we passed bills to hold them accountable and ensure Mainers are paying fair rates. As a member of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, I was proud to help pass bills promoting solar energy, offshore wind development, and increased energy efficiency.
This year we also created a climate council that will develop a comprehensive strategy to help our families, industries and communities address shifts in the climate, and we passed a bill to help our coastal communities prepare for rising sea levels.
These new laws come with others that will help us all limit pollution on our land and in our waters. We can get ahead of this climate crisis, create jobs and protect our iconic industries if we make changes now.