Extreme weather events, like the storm that flooded parts of Portland in early June, are on the rise. Scientists warn that global warming will bring even more extreme weather in the future, and power plants are the largest U.S. source of the carbon pollution that causes global warming.

Maine has been a leader in efforts to reduce carbon pollution. Our participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the first-in-the-nation program to limit carbon pollution from power plants, has been a key part of Maine’s strategy to reduce pollution from fossil fuels and shift to clean energy.

This initiative has also produced tens of millions of dollars of investments in clean energy while reducing pollution. By strengthening it, we can keep our state on a path to a cleaner energy future.

To adequately address this issue, we must have a solution on a national level as well. President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency have proposed the first-ever carbon pollution standards for new power plants — a truly historic step toward cleaning up the largest single source of carbon pollution and helping to guard against even more extreme weather for Maine and the country.

A record number of Americans have already spoken out in support of the proposed standards, and I urge the EPA to finish the job on these standards and also develop standards for existing power plants. Our safety and our environment are depending on it.

Ben Seel

Environment Maine

Portland

Voters should know the principles behind policies

Mitt Romney’s signature achievement as governor of Massachusetts was the creation of its current health care system, which has resulted in good health insurance coverage for more than 98 percent of Massachusetts residents. The national coverage figure is 83.7 percent.

The Massachusetts system, which includes a “penalty” or “tax” for those who choose not to buy health insurance, is supported by at least two-thirds of Massachusetts residents. That state now has possibly the best health outcomes in the United States.

Many studies have shown that infant mortality rates and life expectancy are substantially better for those with insurance than for those without it. Yet Mr. Romney characterized his Massachusetts system as “bad law and bad policy” when extended to the entire nation by President Obama and a Democratic Congress, and he has promised to repeal it.

In effect, he is disowning his own child. Are Maine residents and other Americans so different from Massachusetts residents that what is good in Massachusetts is bad everywhere else?

We should remember that having health insurance can be the difference between life and death. To increase anyone’s likelihood of death for political advantage is unconscionable.

Why should the United States be the only western industrial country without universal health insurance when all those other countries have lower infant mortality rates and greater life expectancy than we do at much lower cost?

Voters should be aware of the principles governing the policies of candidates. Unfortunately, we do not know what Mr. Romney’s true convictions are.

Did he make a Faustian bargain with liberals to become governor of Massachusetts, or did he make a Faustian bargain with the right wing of the Republican Party to get its presidential nomination? Mitt Romney is a perfect case study of the destructive effects of excessive personal ambition on character and integrity.

Meredith N. Springer

Scarborough

33rd repeal attempt a sign of congressional fixation

Your article in the July 12 Press Herald about the Republicans in the House voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act indicated that it was the 33rd time that they had attempted to do this. Such behavior strikes me as a fixation on the subject.

It would seem to me they are in great need of some psychological assistance in getting beyond this roadblock in their thinking. What a nice way to utilize some of the federal funds that they seem so concerned about utilizing for the creation of jobs — a goal that does (not?) appear to be on their current radar, in spite of Mitt Romney’s words!

William J. Leffler II

Kennebunkport

Just which president is the decider? And who’s to blame?

I am glad that Barack Obama and George W. Bush have something in common. Bush had said, many times, “I am the decider.” Obama has said throughout his own presidency that Bush was the decider. Poor Obama hasn’t had any influence the last three and a half years because it was all Bush’s fault.

My hope is that Obama has no influence for the next four years because he won’t be the president. I am not a huge fan of Mitt Romney, but I am a huge fan of voting out of office someone whose inexperience, love of big government and need to control through new regulations have so unnerved the business community that they have gone into hiding as far as new investment goes. The unemployment rate is still above 8 percent? Seriously? You’re kidding me.

The good thing about Obama being gone is that the media will now get back to the business of critically reporting on the presidency.

Every day, it seemed to me, the media noted that Bush had done something wrong. They must have given Obama a pass when keeping a close eye on the presidency because, as Obama keeps telling us, it’s all Bush’s fault.

Doug Crosby

Portland

A lot of questions about Obamacare need answers

Does anyone know anyone who wrote 2,600 pages of Obamacare? Who are these people? What is on their resumes? What qualified them to write 2,600 pages that Congress did not read before they voted to pass it?

How old are they? What are their life experiences?

Just how does one become qualified to write legislation that Congress does not read that changes everything about health care? We pay the salaries of these people. Who are they?

Brian C. Jones

Scarborough