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Monday, May 15, 2016: Collins stands up for climate, rich win again, Poliquin wrong on AHCA

Collins votes for environment

We are in challenging times as a nation. The Trump administration is earnestly undoing many of the regulations and safeguards in place to protect the air, water and environment that we all share. We did manage to repel one such assault, thanks to Sen. Susan Collins, who voted to uphold a methane regulation passed in the Obama era. Had the Republicans prevailed in the repeal attempts it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to replace the methane regulation.

In another move, Collins wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressing her support for the Paris Climate Agreement. She acknowledges that climate change is “a significant environmental challenge that requires global solutions to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and to address the effects already seen worldwide. For international climate efforts to advance, it is essential that the United States keep a seat at the table.” The rest of the world will proceed with mitigation strategies to combat climate change regardless of our participation. The decisions made at the table with affect us all.

We appreciate the leadership, independence and integrity Collins demonstrates for environmental protection which is vital to the Maine economy

Connie Potvin


Bangor Citizens’ Climate Lobby


America in peril

The Trump administration is on the verge of wiping out a half-century of America’s hard work. Decades ago, many U.S. rivers were cesspools, our air was badly polluted, and industries could dump all the poisons it wanted in our backyards and then have the taxpayer clean it up when it became a Superfund site. Citizens and their representatives fought hard, year after year, to counter the immense lobbying power of those who poisoned this magnificent planet. The agency Americans have counted on to safeguard us, the Environmental Protection Agency, is being stripped. The fox is guarding the henhouse.

It’s been a mere eight years since those who play with other people’s money on Wall Street recklessly wiped out hundreds of thousands of dollars from Americans’ savings and retirement accounts, and threatened the entire financial system. Again, citizens and their representatives fought back by regulating the financial industries. Wall Street’s fox is guarding the people’s henhouse.

All sides agree Obamacare needs tweaking, but instead of doing the people’s business and working the bugs out, the administration keeps churning out bills that hurt average Americans while cutting taxes on the rich.

Washington has become a mean-spirited place with mean-spirited proposals. Let’s follow the money, remember that fox and call out the hounds.

Chris Wright


Citizen Clinton

I read the article in the May 3 BDN “ Clinton blames Comey, hackers for loss.” I was struck by Clinton’s statement, “I’m back to being an activist citizen — and part of the resistance.” “Part of the resistance”?

I simply wonder how much better the country would be if she and the rest of the ideologues across the political spectrum, from the congressional level to the grass-roots level, were to take the position, I’m an activist citizen — and intend to be part of the solution.

Carl Young

Fort Fairfield

Trump favors the rich

It is hard not to notice that the Trump administration consistently prefers to sacrifice the health and economic interests of the American people on behalf of tax reductions for the rich. On one hand, the administration and congressional Republicans want to reduce health care access and raise costs for families so the rich can get a break from Affordable Care Act taxes. On the other, they want to eliminate important environmental regulations aimed at keeping everyday Americans healthy. Imagine hearing your doctor tell you your kid has asthma thanks to pollution, or your waitress saying, “Would like mercury or pesticides with that?”

They want to double down on tax policies that already benefit the rich, and large corporations at the expense of those of us who live modest lives outside of Washington, D.C., Wall Street, and Mar-a-Lago. None of us should be surprised. Consider the net worth of the folks writing the new tax policy.

Jim Owen


Poliquin on wrong side

Dennis Chinoy’s May 11 BDN Op-Ed about Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s vote for The American Health Care Act (“Trumpcare”) and against the interest of his constituents, expressed my feelings better than I could do myself. I called Poliquin’s office the day the bill was voted on, and was amazed to be told that Poliquin had still not announced his position on the bill. Did he think that if he didn’t say anything we wouldn’t notice his vote for this disastrous piece of legislation?

I don’t believe Chinoy and I are the only people who feel this way. The phone lines to Poliquin’s office were jammed that morning last week, and it took me multiple attempts to get through. And I think we are all going to remember on Election Day 2018.

Jonathan Falk


Climate change cheers

Responding to climate change — both preparing for the new climate normal and reducing carbon emissions — is arguably the most significant challenge of the 21st century. Recently, a seven-person delegation from Maine met with Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to discuss the local need for federally funded scientific research and the necessary collective response to climate change to ensure vibrant and prosperous Maine communities.

We thanked our senators for signing onto a letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney opposing the proposed 17 percent cut to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. We appreciate that both senators expressed serious concerns over the proposed 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency budget. We were encouraged to hear of their ongoing support for funding scientific research that is critical to sustaining jobs tied to natural resources and to the work being carried out at Maine’s world-class science institutions.

We also met with Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s staff and were pleased to learn he had joined the new House Estuary Caucus. We look forward to working with him to enhance the protection of Maine’s coastal waters. Knowing he is also on the Shellfish Caucus, we asked that he add his name to the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus and look forward to continuing this discussion.

These meetings made clear that bipartisan solutions exist and will require continued dialogue among Maine scientists, citizens and policy makers.

Andrew Barton


Amanda Moeser



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