Sens. Carson and Vitelli earn 100 percent on Maine Conservation Voters 2019 environmental scorecards
The Senators were leaders on environmental issues in the Legislature this year
Sen. Brownie Carson, D-Harpswell, and Assistant Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli, D-Arrowsic, earned perfect scores from Maine Conservation Voters for their votes to preserve Maine’s rich natural resources, invest in clean, renewable energy and protect the public from harmful chemicals.
“Future generations depend on us to enact policies that protect our environment and safeguard our natural resources,” said Sen. Carson. “This year, we passed laws that created the Governor’s Climate Council, banned single-use plastic bags and Styrofoam products statewide, protected the sustenance fishing rights of Maine tribes and helped improve the water quality of our rivers.”
Before serving in the Maine Senate, Sen. Carson served as director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, where he led efforts to protect our environment and conserve our natural resources. In the Legislature, he chairs the Environment and Natural Resources Committee, leading negotiations on environmental legislation. He also serves on the Governor’s Climate Council, which is spearheading efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent and achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
This year, in addition to supporting successful legislation to address climate change, reduce pollution and protect our air and water, Sen. Carson supported strong oversight of the proposed CMP Corridor through western Maine.
“The climate crisis is already having an impact on Maine, our environment, and our way of life. But this year, we took action to address those concerns and create good-paying, green-energy jobs,” said Sen. Vitelli. “I’m proud of the significant progress we made on environmental concerns this year, but I know our work is not done, and I look forward to what we’re able to accomplish in 2020.”
Sen. Vitelli also has a long history of supporting initiatives to promote, protect and preserve Maine’s environment. She serves on the Marine Resources Committee in the Legislature, and as the Senate Chair of the Commission to Study the Economic, Environmental and Energy Benefits of Energy Storage to the Maine Electricity Industry, which is charged with exploring whether certain energy storage projects would contribute to Maine’s energy sustainability goals and economy, including potential benefits for ratepayers. Outside of the Legislature, she serves on the board of Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and lives in a home she and her husband built themselves, which is powered by a solar energy array.
Among the proposals scored by MCV, Sen. Vitelli sponsored LD 1494, An Act To Reform Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which increases Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to achieve 80 percent renewable energy by 2030, up from 40 percent today, and a goal of 100% by 2050. In addition, the law requires the Public Utilities Commission to procure long-term contracts for new clean energy generation, which may be paired with advanced energy storage. LD 1494 also requires the creation of a new thermal portfolio standard to incentivize efficient heating and cooling installations, contains several cost containment mechanisms including a $50 cap on alternative compliance payments, and requires renewable energy policy studies to be conducted in conjunction with other planning efforts. This law gives Maine one of most ambitious RPS programs in the country.
Maine Conservation Voters scored six key initiatives debated by the legislature this year, including the Land for Maine’s Future Bond, which was the only proposal among these that didn’t pass. All 21 Senate Democrats received perfect scores for their environmental record.
For more information about the votes scored, visit maineconservationvoters.org.