Climate denial an impeachable offense

Thank you to the BDN or its continued coverage of the effects of climate change — the latest being an editorial on the National Academy of Sciences sea level rise report that seas could be rising faster than previously predicted with significant health, social, political effects at the local, national and international levels.

Maine is not immune from sea level rise — Maine has many miles of low lying coastal shoreline, such as Wells Beach, Camp Ellis, the Deer Isle causeway and our islands — and these edges are at risk. Think of the costs to property owners, businesses, as well as state and local tax revenues.

A president’s major responsibility is to protect and defend our country from all threats. I believe the current president’s unrelenting denial of climate change is an impeachable offense.

Examples that increase the risks of climate change include his rollback of programs for decreasing emissions, data collection and community preparation, his decision to withdrawal from international efforts such as the Paris Climate agreement as well as his active promotion of fossil fuel production. The latest $19 billion national disaster relief from taxpayers was for costs from weather and climate events such as floods, fires and hurricanes. Has your homeowner’s insurance bill increased?

Contact your representatives.

Pam Person

A humanitarian crisis

There is a humanitarian crisis at the Mexican border, as potentially thousands of children have been separated from family members and warehoused in subhuman conditions. The flood of immigrants from Central America has overwhelmed the resources of Customs and Border Protection. The Trump administration seems intent to cause suffering, as part of a narrative characterizing Hispanic immigrants as degenerate enemy invaders.

Those who accept this narrative have apparently found a home in the Republican Party. Acknowledging that Hispanic babies are human would undermine that narrative. It raises the question for Senator Susan Collins: are there Republicans in Congress with the heart and humanity to be moved by suffering, rather than by fear and hatred?

There are several things Congress must do immediately, including: Stop the separation of children from relatives; supply basic needs of food, clothing, toiletries and bathing facilities; provide adequate shelter, including placement via social service agencies such as Catholic Charities; institute adequate record-keeping and tracking of children and their relatives; initiate investigation and oversight. Passing the humanitarian aid bill Thursday was a step, but there needs to be follow-through.

To do less is to diminish us all, as individuals and as a nation.

Stephen McKay

Protecting electricity consumers

Next legislative session, my colleagues and I will have the opportunity to take a big step towards protecting Maine’s electricity consumers. We will be voting on a bill, carried over from the previous session, to replace Spanish-owned Central Maine Power (CMP) and Canadian-owned Emera with a Maine consumer-owned electric utility called the Maine Power Delivery Authority (MPDA).

Right now, rampant, widespread overbilling from CMP has caused hard times for thousands of Maine families and businesses. I’ve heard a lot of stories from my neighbors in Winterport about CMP’s overbilling.

Here’s the real problem: CMP and Emera do not work for us, they work for Spanish and Canadian corporate executives who are lining their pockets at Mainers’ expense.

With the proposal to establish the MPDA, we have the opportunity to put Mainers first and keep profits here in Maine.

The MPDA has the potential to lower electricity rates for consumers. One in seven electricity consumers in the U.S. are already being served by public power companies, according to the American Public Power Association, and those customers generally pay less than consumers of investor-owned utilities like CMP and Emera. If we create the MPDA, the state will keep millions of dollars in the local economy instead of sending that money to other countries and any revenue generated would go back to paying for our needs.

Mainers deserve reliable and affordable electric service, and this proposal is a critical step towards achieving that.

Rep. Scott Cuddy