Gideon offers climate change agenda, decries Washington inaction

Maine’s Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Sara Gideon today proposed a climate change agenda focused on reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming and investing more in clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind. She announced the plan after touring Maine-based Revision Energy, founded in 2003 and now New England’s largest rooftop solar panel installer.Gideon said, “From the Gulf of Maine, a body of water that is warming faster than almost anywhere else on the earth, to the North Woods and farms in Aroostook County, Maine, our environment, and our economy are threatened by climate change.”She said a statewide drought and July being the hottest month ever in Portland are reminders of the urgency, and she blamed the Trump administration for inaction.Gideon said, “Over the past 3 1/2 years, we’ve watched as Washington has gone backwards, choosing to ignore climate change and also to undo the environmental protections that we have worked so hard to put in place. Mainers deserve better.”In response, today the campaign of Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the incumbent the Senate’s leading advocate for renewable offshore wind power and described her as the first Republican to oppose President Trump’s rollback of President Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, which had the Environmental Protection Agency set limits on carbon pollution by power plants.Collins co-sponsored a 2007 law that required automakers to improve their fuel economy standards by 10 mpg between 2010 and 2020.Today, Gideon said she would support further mandates to improve fuel efficiency.Both Collins and Gideon opposed President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord signed by Obama in 2016 and since ratified by 189 nations.Responding to questions from WMTW, Gideon said she is “not prepared to support” a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions or a carbon tax, which would tax industries by the tons of fossil fuels they mine.She also said she could not yet support building new, carbon-emission-free nuclear power plants that also recycle their own fuel rods.Gideon said, “I don’t feel that there’s enough information to show us how we expand nuclear power in a way that we know is absolutely safe both in the present and in the future.”Without endorsing either candidate, Revision Energy President Fortunat Mueller said Maine sends $5 billion a year out of state primarily to buy liquid fossil fuels like gasoline, heating oil and natural gas, some of which could be invested in the renewable energy industries in-state.“Maine is blessed with abundant sun, wind and biomass resources, so that in clean energy future, we could easily meet our own energy needs and stop sending that $5 billion a year out of state,” Mueller said. “Imagine the macroeconomic impacts of keeping that money in the communities we live in.”

Maine’s Democratic U.S. Senate challenger Sara Gideon today proposed a climate change agenda focused on reducing carbon emissions that cause global warming and investing more in clean, renewable energy sources like solar and wind.

She announced the plan after touring Maine-based Revision Energy, founded in 2003 and now New England’s largest rooftop solar panel installer.

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Gideon said, “From the Gulf of Maine, a body of water that is warming faster than almost anywhere else on the earth, to the North Woods and farms in Aroostook County, Maine, our environment, and our economy are threatened by climate change.”

She said a statewide drought and July being the hottest month ever in Portland are reminders of the urgency, and she blamed the Trump administration for inaction.

Gideon said, “Over the past 3 1/2 years, we’ve watched as Washington has gone backwards, choosing to ignore climate change and also to undo the environmental protections that we have worked so hard to put in place. Mainers deserve better.”

In response, today the campaign of Republican Sen. Susan Collins called the incumbent the Senate’s leading advocate for renewable offshore wind power and described her as the first Republican to oppose President Trump’s rollback of President Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, which had the Environmental Protection Agency set limits on carbon pollution by power plants.

Collins co-sponsored a 2007 law that required automakers to improve their fuel economy standards by 10 mpg between 2010 and 2020.

Today, Gideon said she would support further mandates to improve fuel efficiency.

Both Collins and Gideon opposed President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord signed by Obama in 2016 and since ratified by 189 nations.

Responding to questions from WMTW, Gideon said she is “not prepared to support” a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions or a carbon tax, which would tax industries by the tons of fossil fuels they mine.

She also said she could not yet support building new, carbon-emission-free nuclear power plants that also recycle their own fuel rods.

Gideon said, “I don’t feel that there’s enough information to show us how we expand nuclear power in a way that we know is absolutely safe both in the present and in the future.”

Without endorsing either candidate, Revision Energy President Fortunat Mueller said Maine sends $5 billion a year out of state primarily to buy liquid fossil fuels like gasoline, heating oil and natural gas, some of which could be invested in the renewable energy industries in-state.

“Maine is blessed with abundant sun, wind and biomass resources, so that in clean energy future, we could easily meet our own energy needs and stop sending that $5 billion a year out of state,” Mueller said. “Imagine the macroeconomic impacts of keeping that money in the communities we live in.”