Maine Senate Democrats earn high marks for pro-environment votes
AUGUSTA — Democratic senators showed their commitment to Maine’s natural resources during this year’s legislative session, with pro-environment votes to advance conservation, support clean energy and defend current laws that protect our air, land, water and wildlife.
That’s the takeaway from Maine Conservation Voters annual Environmental Scorecard, in which the group grades lawmakers for their votes on crucial environmental issues.
“Maine Conservation Voters is grateful to the senators who voted to protect clean water, restore energy efficiency funding and conservation during every important vote of the 2015 session,” said Beth Ahearn, MCV’s political director. “With their leadership, the assaults on Maine’s environment in 2015 were thwarted.”
This year, 14 Senate Democrats earned perfect scores for the votes to support energy efficiency programs and Land for Maine’s Future, as well as their positions on state mining regulations and other important issues.
“Senate Democrats have always been staunch defenders of Maine’s environment,” said Senate Democratic Leader Justin Alfond of Portland. “In the face of efforts to weaken our state’s dedication to conservation, it was more important than ever to stand up for what was right.”
MCV gave specific credit to Sen. Cathy Breen of Falmouth, the lead Senate Democrat on the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, for championing strong mining rules and speaking forcefully to support voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future projects that are being held hostage by Gov. Paul LePage.
“Supporting Land for Maine’s Future and guaranteeing destructive mining practices are not allowed in our state aren’t just the right decisions for our environment,” Breen said. “They’re also about solidifying Maine’s brand and protecting our tourism and natural resource industries, which are pillars of our state’s economy.”
Democratic senators that earned perfect scores include: Alfond; Breen; Jim Dill of Old Town; David Dutremble of Biddeford; Stan Gerzofsky of Brunswick; Geoff Gratwick of Bangor; Anne Haskell of Portland; Assistant Democratic Leader Dawn Hill of York; Chris Johnson of Somerville; Nate Libby of Lewiston; Rebecca Millett of Cape Elizabeth; David Miramant of Camden; John Patrick of Rumford and Linda Valentino of Saco.
MCV’s complete scorecard is available here.