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

Our responsibility with recycling reform

In a recent letter to the editor, the Consumer Brands Association was referred to as “an opponent of recycling reform.” Unfortunately, this is a mischaracterization of the work being done in the legislature.

Consumer Brands leads the Recycling Leadership Council, which brings together stakeholders across industries — from manufacturers to environmental organizations — to create lasting solutions. We testified in the U.S. Senate in favor of recycling reforms and have supported legislation including the RECYCLE Act, RECOVER Act and Save Our Seas 2.0. We have also convened the Senate and House Recycling Caucuses for multiple bipartisan policy discussions and held dozens of meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss the Council’s Blueprint for American Recycling.

In Maine specifically, we have supported extended producer responsibility legislation in L.D. 1471, and when Maine legislators decided to advance L.D. 1541 instead, we remained engaged in the process in hopes of developing legislation that actually improves recycling.

The consumer packaged goods industry owns its responsibility in recycling reform. That ownership includes financial support when that funding is dedicated to improving recycling; there are clear and measurable performance targets and there are opportunities to provide input to ensure policy solutions achieve their intended goals. We believe any serious legislator would agree.

Geoff Freeman

President and CEO

Consumer Brands Association

Arlington, Virginia

Welcome border news

Like U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, I too welcome the news that New Brunswick has begun to make plans to reopen the border between Maine and New Brunswick. The extended border closure due to COVID-19 has created hardship for families on both sides of the border for more than a year now. So, while the details are yet to be worked out, the fact that our neighbors in Canada are planning to reopen our border as soon as next month is just the news we’ve all been hoping for.

I’d like to thank Collins for heeding the call from myself and the rest of the Aroostook County delegation to prioritize this matter of great importance. As a County girl herself, she knows just how critical cross-border commerce is to our small northern Maine communities, which is why she’s been in touch with the Department of Homeland Security regularly since February, and also why she presented to the Canada-U.S. Interparliamentary Group, which includes both U.S. senators and Canadian members of Parliament, to advocate for reopening the border to local commerce safely.

Throughout this pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to have relatively low incidence of COVID in the small towns on both sides of the Maine/New Brunswick border. It’s time to ease these restrictions to help our economy, and our cross-border families, return to normalcy.

Sen. Trey Stewart

Presque Isle

Keep politics out of the electric grid

I urge the 130th Legislature to reject L.D. 1708, which would create the Pine Tree Power Company. My power bill has been between $100 and $125 for at least the last 10 years. It’s less than half the cost of my cable bill, and the few times a year it does go out during serious weather events it’s repaired quickly — a day at the most.

I’m all for an honest debate about anything under the sun, but my voice in this debate is that power in Maine is currently affordable, currently reliable and currently moving to renewable sources. It’s also already regulated at essentially all levels by local, state and federal governments. Keep partisan politics out of the electric grid.

Josh Teel

New Gloucester