AUGUSTA – With the global warming debate heating up, one legislator is offering a solution for Mainers.
Rep. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, is suggesting a way to help Maine’s economy grow through so-called green jobs.
“It’s primarily an economic growth bill that has come out of rural and working communities here in Maine and our goal is to create a platform that is broad and inclusive so that we can build the kind of political power that we need to really adjust to climate change here in Maine,” Maxmin said.
Maxmin’s proposal, called the Maine Green New Deal bill, calls on the state to move to 80 percent renewable electrical use by 2040, support solar power for schools to reduce costs, and create a task force for a Green New Deal.
The task force is charged with creating a plan to advance environmental sustainability, renewable energy and economic growth for Maine.
The bill also would create a 13-member group called the Commission on a Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy.
Maxmin said the purpose of the commission would be to ensure Maine’s transition to a low-carbon economy benefits all residents.
According to Maxmin, hers is the first Green New Deal bill in the country to be endorsed by the state affiliate of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
“I think it’s really important that it brings people together across sectors — workers, small businesses, community members, scientists — to say this is a very serious problem. We need to address it in a bold way and we need to do it in a way that makes sure it’s equitable, fair and just for the people of this state,” said Matt Schlobohm, director of Maine’s AFL-CIO
Bowdoin College student Haley Maurice said the issue affects current and future generations.
“Young people of Maine understand what’s at stake here at home and everywhere else. And at the same time, we understand that fundamental to this transition towards a stable economy and energy system are frameworks of justice and equity to ensure that this transition will benefit everyone, as Maine Green New Deal outlines,” Maurice said.
Maxmin said her hope for her Green New Deal bill is a fight against climate change and the effect it is having on Maine’s ecosystem as well as boosting Maine’s economy at the same time.