Protecting and Strengthening Maine's Environmental Protections


In the 125th legislative session, laws that protect our water, air and land faced  unprecedented attack.  Below we list some of this issues the legislature faced in 2012.  Some of them were greatly improved through tremendous bi-partisan effort by committee members; others were not.  At the same time, the legislature also considered important proactive measures to investment in Maine’s natural resource-based economy and reduce dependency on fossil fuels.

The Problem

A few powerful corporations are seeking to pit jobs and the economy against our environment. But the foundation of Maine’s economy—fishing, forestry, agriculture, and tourism—all depend on a healthy environment.  Maine’s spectacular forests, farms, lakes, rivers, mountains, and coastline and ocean are at the core of what makes our state such a special place to live.  

Why Protect Them

1.Mainers that have been hit hardest by the recession are usually also the ones that suffer most when environmental protections are weakened.  Whether it’s a person of color’s greater likelihood of exposure to toxic chemicals, or the difficulty low-income Mainers have in accessing conserved land, the interactions Mainers have with the natural world need to be more equitable for all Maine people to have a high quality of life.

2.The Maine environment has intrinsic worth.  The value of clean air and water can’t be measured in dollars.  The stewardship of our natural resources is a collective responsibility shared by all.

3.Maine leaders have a duty to future generations.  Environmental protection requires taking a longer view than the often short-term interests of corporations.  We owe it to our children to pass on a clean and healthy state.  

Addressing Common Concerns

A recent study showed that states who reduced fossil fuel emissions and encouraged green energy saw economic output grow 87% faster that states that did not.

Environmental laws save money.  Ensuring clean air, water and fewer toxic products prevents millions of dollars in medical costs.  Fuel efficient cars help save on gas, while strong regulations prevent spills and contamination that taxpayers would have to pay to clean up.

Environmentally friendly alternatives, such as wind power instead of coal produced power, or Polyethylene in plastic instead of BPA are often available.

Sources and Links to more information

•Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition website:

•April 2012 Study of Northeastern States’ Economic Growth and Green House Gas Regulation:,...

•Forest, Farm, and Fish Bond:

•Clean Energy Citizen’s Initiative:

•Protecting Maine’s Northern Woods:

•Protecting wading bird and waterfowl habitat:

•So-called “Takings” legislation that would undermine the core of all state environmental protections:

•Open-pit mining, LD 1853:

•The Governor’s Energy Bills: LD 1863 and 1864:

 •Summary of 2011 environmental protections MPA and coalition members worked to retain:

•Summary of 2011 environmental protections MPA sought to advance: