Tax carbon emissions

How many businesses will be forced into a similar fate as the Lincolnville Lobster Pound, which was forced to close its doors after nine decades of business and community presence? The closure means a loss of 49 year-round jobs and many additional seasonal jobs.

The owner said one of the main factors for closing the doors is the drastic increase in the yearly cost of flood insurance. It rose from $1,900 to $10,000 in the past 10 years with no signs of leveling out. Climate change is causing increased flooding and storm surges with damage to the coastline, fisheries, farming, roadways and bridges. The result is increasing numbers of business failures, job loss, road closures and collateral losses.

But there is good news. There is a nonpartisan, job-creating, market-stimulating answer to the underlying problem of climate change. A carbon fee and dividend places a tax, or fee, on fossil fuels at the source and returns the money as a dividend to citizens. It’s the policy first suggested by George Shultz, who served as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. He recognized our excessive dependence on fossil fuels was not environmentally sustainable back in the 1980s.

President-elect Donald Trump professes to be a brilliant businessman. Therefore, he should easily see the many benefits of a carbon fee and dividend. It will create jobs and reduce regulations, and it is a market-based solution to the biggest threat we face as a nation: climate change.

Connie Potvin


Collins should withhold praise for nominees

Republican Abraham Lincoln famously stated: “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” It’s advice that Republican Sen. Susan Collins should take.

Collins has publicly praised two of Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees: Jeff Sessions, who she said “ would serve our country well” as U.S. attorney general, and Ben Carson, who she said she looks “ forward to working with” as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

But the senator has only just begun getting educated on the president-elect’s nominees, according to her office. If Collins is just now getting educated, why did she endorse Sessions and Carson weeks ago? Clearly, she hasn’t put her feet in the right place this time.

Publicly supporting Cabinet nominees without first conducting adequate due diligence is reckless behavior on the senator’s part. This makes Collins’ endorsements appear ill-informed and extraordinarily partisan in nature.

The senator would be wise to educate herself on Sessions’ and Carson’s records, histories and experience — or lack thereof. A little digging might quickly change her views. As an old saying advises, it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

Collins garners tremendous support from voters — including me — when she puts country above party. Let’s hope she remembers that fact going forward — for her future as well as ours.

Mark Klimek

South Portland

BDN is out of touch

I am a native Mainer who came home and retired here. The Bangor Daily News primarily serves the 2nd Congressional District, and it has become my daily newspaper. I have been disappointed for a long time by the continuous berating of Gov. Paul LePage and, more recently, Donald Trump.

The BDN editorial writers have been unfair to both and clearly have a leftist bias. Trump won the popular vote in the 2nd District and as a result received one of Maine’s four electoral votes. Because of the BDN bias, I pay very little attention to the continuous leftist rhetoric. Trump won in the BDN market area because he represented the feelings of a majority of silent Mainers, not those of the editorial writers.

The editorial writers were then, and likely still are now, out of touch. Trump is not a slick politician. Nationally, supporters of Trump were tired of arguing about his positions, so we just kept quiet and voted to break up the elite political system in Washington, overturn failed liberal programs, appoint Supreme Court judges who interpret the Constitution and don’t legislate from the bench and at least try to get our country back on a sound financial footing.

We hope the BDN has learned from the Trump victory in the 2nd District and around the country and to give more credit to its quiet readership for having superior political insight.

Richard de Grasse