Protecting Maine’s Environment in 2021 and Beyond

On March 18, 2021, Pete Didisheim, Advocacy Director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, gave the CREA community an insider’s view of what’s happening in Maine’s environmental policy arena. He reviewed 2020 election results, noting that Maine has a long history of bipartisan collaboration on environmental issues and that will likely continue. 

The Legislature, which includes 46 first-time representatives, faces some unique challenges this year. COVID prevents much of the informal conversation that typically takes place at the Capitol. Nevertheless, committee work is taking place over Zoom, with live and recorded sessions available on You Tube.

He provided an update on Maine’s Climate Council bill, passed in 2019. Despite COVID challenges, the Climate Council continued its work throughout 2020, involving over 250 people in its working groups. It released its report, Maine Won’t Wait, in December of 2020. (If you download the report from the link provided here, be patient, it’s large and takes a little bit.)

Pete reported that NRCM is following over 300 bills related to the environment that were proposed in the current legislative session. NRCM’s priorities include climate action, replenishing funds to the Land for Maine’s Future Fund, defeating rollbacks of environmental laws, recycling reform, stopping out-of-state waste, protecting public lands from timber harvesting, stopping the CMP transmission corridor, restoring healthy rivers, and protecting Maine from a mineral mine proposed near Mt. Chase.

You can watch Pete’s presentation here.