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Gov. Janet Mills signed the nation’s strongest restriction on bee-killing neonicotinoids (neonics) into law on Thursday. LD 155, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth, prohibits the use of the most harmful neonic pesticides in residential landscapes. The bill won bipartisan support in the Maine State Legislature, which passed it on June 7.
Lawmakers gave final approval this week to a bill directing Maine’s state government and pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies as part of the global “divestment” movement in response to climate change.
The towns of Bridgton and Windham are teaming up with Greater Portland Council of Governments to explore how climate climate change is impacting their inland communities now and how it could in the future.
Maine’s beloved wild blueberry fields are home to one of the most important fruit crops in New England, and scientists have found they are warming at a faster rate than the rest of the state.
After a project to convert a dilapidated former waterworks building in Bangor into affordable housing was completed more than a dozen years ago, it was celebrated as a success for helping to address Bangor’s affordable housing needs and for preserving historic buildings.
A legislative committee is supporting a massive change for Maine’s electric utilities. The Maine Legislative Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Technology voted Tuesday to move forward with a proposed bill that would force CMP and Versant Power to sell their assets to a Maine consumer-owned non-profit corporation to be called “Pine Tree Power.”
With the first leg of Maine’s 130th Legislature well underway, environmental advocates are optimistic that the progress made so far in committee work will translate to significant victories on a host of climate priorities this session. The push to pass environmental legislation comes as Maine is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, with much of the state spending large chunks of 2020 in a drought and the Gulf of Maine warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans.
State lawmakers and activists are pushing for Maine to create the first, statewide, publicly-owned utility in the United States. Proposed legislation would create a new, nonprofit utility. The Pine Tree Power Company would issue bonds to purchase the assets of the state’s two investor-owned utilities, Central Maine Power, a subsidiary of Avangrid and the state’s largest utility, and Versant Power, formerly known as Emera Maine.
Seaweed has long been a delicacy in Asia, but now scientists see nutritional, economic and environmental benefits to building a robust kelp farming industry here in the United States. Ben Tracy reports.