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Dick Campbell of Orrington represents District 130 in the Maine House of Representatives where he is the ranking House Republican member of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. He also serves on the Maine Climate Council.
If the word “jobs” is ringing around your head tonight as you nod off to sleep, we must be getting closer to Election Day. There’s a reason “jobs” is perennially a winning topic with voters, even when they’re skeptical about promises from the campaign trail. Jobs represent opportunity, strong communities and prosperity.
We need all hands on deck to help return America to the prosperity it enjoyed prior to the COVID-19 economic shutdown, and as Maine’s senior U.S. senator, Susan Collins has spearheaded that effort with the added benefit of helping protect our climate.
Understanding the severity of this moment, Collins has met this health and unemployment crisis head-on by authoring the Paycheck Protection Program, a law that’s injected over $2.3 billion into more than 28,000 Maine small employers, supporting more than 255,000 jobs. Collins continues to offer, and look for, sound approaches to create new jobs in Maine that cannot be outsourced, like those in the renewable energy sector. Recently, she urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to incorporate policies to support jobs and innovation across the clean energy economy in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Unlike some lawmakers who shy away from the words “climate change,” Collins regularly and publicly discusses environmental issues in Washington and back home. And she puts her policy pen where her mouth is — working every day on legislation to grow clean energy jobs and curb emissions without sacrificing our economic leadership.
Collins, who has been named the most bipartisan senator for seven years in a row, sponsored bipartisan legislation to encourage offshore wind development nationwide and worked to boost funding for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E) program, which helps support critical energy research that helps maintain America’s competitive edge.
She’s a member of the first-ever Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan group devoted to crafting legislation focused on preserving, and bettering, the environment. And last year she authored the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act, which unsurprisingly passed a key Senate panel with broad, bipartisan support. If enacted, the measure will accelerate the development and deployment of a range of energy storage technologies.
Under both Republican and Democratic presidents, Collins has consistently put the interests of Mainers first by securing federal grants and funds for energy programs back home, such as the University of Maine-led Aqua Ventus. During the Obama Administration, Collins was one of three Republican Senators to buck her party and support the Clean Power Plan, which helped protect Maine from becoming the tailpipe of the United States, while preserving the state’s right to maintain its own plan for a renewable energy economy.
When it comes to her commitment to reduce emissions, Collins’ hard work is incomparable in the Senate.
With such a robust and bipartisan legislative record on energy and environmental issues, Collins’ work ethic — and where she stands on this important issue — has never been more clear. The Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions has endorsed Collins for re-election and encourages more Mainers to stand alongside her this Election Day.
Collins makes a concerted and active effort in Washington to forge consensus by crossing party lines when it comes to addressing climate change, looking for areas of agreement when others choose to do the opposite. Perhaps most crucial, she’s a proven fighter that gets results.
Unfortunately, voters have been forced to bear witness to political attacks from Democratic special interest groups using their time and money to distort the facts around Collins’ environmental accomplishments. These partisan groups are more concerned with partisan point scoring than they are in protecting climate and clean energy allies regardless of political affiliation.
If we are going to make progress in rebooting the economy and addressing climate change, let’s recognize and celebrate when policymakers come to the table rather than hunker down in partisan trenches. Senator Collins has stepped up time and again in the fight to protect our economy, jobs and climate, and it’s just one more reason why Mainers should vote for her this November.