A flare burns natural gas at an oil well on Aug. 26, 2021, in Watford City, N.D. A new federal report released Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, says fossil fuel extraction from federal lands produced more than 1 billion tons (918 million metric tons) of greenhouse gases last year. Credit: Matthew Brown / AP

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Recently, the Bangor Daily News published a  column by Jack Shapiro of the Natural Resources Council of Maine about smart grid planning, urging a shift from fossil fuels to cleaner, locally produced sources of energy for Maine. Maine needs to transition fully to efficient, affordable, and environmentally friendly sources of energy like wind and solar to meet all the different demands for power over the course of the year that Mainers have.

We need to stay warm in winter, and want to stay cool in summer, and we want to do so without paying exorbitant prices and contributing to climate change. Relying on fossil fuels, which power the  majority of our electric grid, is becoming more and more unreasonable; fossil fuels all have to be brought here from pretty far away, and reliance on those fuels makes us dependent on the decisions of people who may not have Maine’s best interests at heart, especially about the prices we pay for electricity, heating oil, and fuel for our cars and trucks.

We should begin investing in a significant way in making our own home-grown energy and planning our grid to handle these new energy sources in the lowest cost way. The manufacturing, installation and operation of the machinery for these alternative sources have created good new jobs. I’d like to see these new jobs here in Maine, breathe cleaner air, and even pay less for electricity, too!

Lynn Spann Bowditch