Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Liquid fuel infrastructure

Anyone who cares about the economy should be concerned about LD 163 and LD 1532, two bills in the legislature that could cripple Maine’s energy and transportation infrastructure, increasing the cost of heating oil, fuel, gasoline and asphalt for Maine families and businesses.

Pretty much every business organization in the state opposes one or both of these bills. Even the Maine Department of Environmental Protection testified that LD 1532 would have “no measurable environmental benefit.” The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Maine roads a D on their most recent report card and poor roads cost Maine drivers $1.3 billion per year in vehicle operating costs, delays from congestion and crashes – talk about a public health emergency!

The Maine Department of Transportation already has a shortfall of $330 million per year just to maintain the system we have. If we cannot get products like asphalt from storage tanks in South Portland, we sure would not help the environment by forcing trucks to drive all the way to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, and we could see the cost of products go up 25 percent to 50 percent.

Instead of crippling our liquid fuel infrastructure with these bills, we should be increasing our capacity for low-carbon renewable biofuels, which can be produced right here in Maine. If we want to increase our use of green energy and meet our carbon goals then we need to enhance, not eliminate, our liquid fuel infrastructure.

Irv Smith

President

Maine Better Transportation Association

Eddington

Protect abortion coverage

As a Maine voter and public health student, I encourage my elected officials to vote against bills that would take away abortion coverage for people with MaineCare insurance. Abortions are safe, essential procedures that enable people with uteruses to make the best decisions for their health. Taking away insurance coverage for abortions would worsen health inequities in Maine, especially for low-income individuals and people of color. All Mainers should be able to access healthcare, regardless of race, employment status, or income.

Eliminating insurance coverage for people who need an abortion while providing coverage for people who need pregnancy care does not leave much room for health-focused decision-making. It takes away Mainers’ abilities to make the best decisions for themselves and perpetuates a double-standard of care for people with expensive insurance and people without. I urge Maine legislators to oppose LD 748 and LD 915.

Hannah Durham

Portland

Ignore the NECEC noise

With so much misinformation being spread about the New England Clean Energy Connect, it’s good that we have the Bangor Daily News to correct the record.

Recently, in a desperate attempt to sensationalize the controversy over the project, a national cable TV host aired threatening logging footage. However, the Bangor Daily News reported that the footage he used was not related to Maine’s clean energy project at all.

The truth is, the NECEC doesn’t clear-cut Maine’s North Woods. Critics have dishonestly stated the size of the corridor, as well. In fact, most of the NECEC will run along existing power lines and the remaining 54 miles will be in an area where commercial logging has occurred for a decade.

Oil and gas companies in Texas and Florida are spending millions to spread misinformation about the NECEC. Here are the facts. The NECEC sends clean, renewable energy directly to Maine. Maine ratepayers will receive $ 140 million in direct electric rate relief and lower-income Mainers will receive an additional $50 million in relief. The power from the NECEC will help drive down wholesale electric costs for the whole region, allowing Mainers to save an additional $350 million over the next 15 years. The project creates good-paying jobs with preference to Maine people.

Ignore the noise. The New England Clean Energy Connect is a win for Maine.

Craig Colson

Bangor