April 20, 2019
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Saturday, April 13, 2019: NECEC questions, stop the hate, protect clean water

Stop the hate

Recent news reports have told us that messages of hate are increasing on websites at the same time that acts of violence against religious and immigrant groups are being labeled hate crimes. In response, congressional hearings are looking into possible restrictions on social media corporations. Yet no legislation is likely to stop the spread of animosity as long as our leaders espouse the denigration and debasement of those with whom we disagree.

Sure, there will always be differences of opinion. Varying points of view are a mark of a healthy democracy. However, labeling members of another religion, race or even ideology as evil, as unworthy is antithetical to the ideals of our nation. Whether you believe in God or Allah or Yaweh or Krishna or Vishnu or no deity at all, each and every one of us has the same DNA; from birth, we have the same gift of life, and we all deserve the same chance to enjoy that life.

It is a truism that one has to be taught to hate, and parents can pass on an attitude of hatred to children. That feeling is fostered in adulthood, though, by spokesmen and politicians who encourage us to target a certain group. President Trump’s name-calling of those he dislikes is a similar form of hate, and anyone who follows in his footsteps is as much a hypocrite as he is.

Steve Colhoun


NECEC questions

For Maine to grant CMP permission to build a power transmission corridor from Hydro-Quebec to Massachusetts via our state, all the facts should be considered. Is this a good thing?

This will impact fish and wildlife habitat, trees and vegetation capable of absorbing carbon dioxide, recreational areas, and create a big, ugly swath of huge transmission towers through our treasured wilderness areas.

Does this actually result in a reduction in carbon emissions? On the surface, it sounds like electricity is being provided to Massachusetts that comes from environmentally better hydropower. But does it?

It has been speculated that Hydro-Quebec may need to purchase additional capacity from coal burning power plants. Is this true? Will selling electricity to Massachusetts push demand on Hydro-Quebec beyond its hydro capacity and force them to utilize coal-fired, polluting power plants to meet the demand?

It’s true that Maine will receive what seems to be a big chunk of money for allowing this, but CMP will profit far greater. Do we want to allow something that takes resources and environmentally valuable assets from Mainers yet potentially does nothing positive to reduce overall carbon emissions? If this is the case, it is short sighted and wrong.

That’s why the Natural Resource Council of Maine (NRCM) is urging passage of LD 640, which would require an independent, fair and comprehensive analysis of the CMP corridor’s impact on climate change-causing emissions.

Contact your legislators. Encourage them to get the facts, then decide.

Philip Conner


Protect clean water, protect recreation

Clean waterways are essential for the drinking water supply we depend on, as well as recreation we have come to love and enjoy here in Maine. For years our waterways along with the streams and wetlands that feed into them have been protected by the EPA. The EPA, however, has proposed rolling back these protections.

Under new regulations, the Clean Water Act would exclude wetlands and seasonal streams that flow into our water supply from the definition of “Waters of the United States.” This change in regulation will come with damaging consequences — it would allow harmful pollutants to enter the many wetlands and streams that feed into our waterways. By making this change, the EPA ignores the fact that pollution upstream inevitably results in pollution downstream.

As stewards of the outdoors, the Appalachian Mountain Club believes everyone should have access to clean water. The public comment period for these new regulations is open until April 15. Mainers have the chance to speak up and tell the EPA that we care about the protection of our lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. Our recreation industry and our clean water supply depend on it. Visit regulations.gov to submit your comment.

Kaitlyn Bernard


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