Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Recognition for Maine’s Climate Action Plan

Governor Janet Mills and other Maine policymakers deserve recognition for their efforts in developing Maine’s Climate Action Plan, outlining a four-year plan to meet emissions goals and other environmental benchmarks in the shared fight against climate challenges.

That said, Maine policymakers should be weary and skeptical of out-of-state organizations pressuring Maine to pursue climate litigation as a tool of the Climate Action Plan. In the last three years, a number of municipalities and state attorneys general have filed climate lawsuits against energy manufacturers in hopes of being awarded monetary settlements.

Litigants claim that the suits hold energy manufacturers liable for climate impacts but make no attempt to resolve questions of addressing the shared challenges of global climate change. Thus far, municipalities and counties in California and New York have so far failed in their litigation attempts after the cases were dismissed on merit.

The Supreme Court in 2011, in a unanimous decision authored by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, determined that climate change policy should be addressed by the EPA and Congress, not the courts.

Maine’s elected officials would be wise to avoid these ploys at all costs as they make a sideshow of our real environmental efforts and disparage the many areas of business reliant on energy and critical to the Maine economy.

Already our state agencies have developed a regulatory framework for carbon reductions and the new Climate Action Plan will go into practice soon. Our elected officials should rally around realistic and practical measures to reduce emissions by pursuing clean energy technology. Climate litigation will only muddy the path towards progress and unduly harm Maine’s industries.

Astra Pierson

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