Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King recently demonstrated courage and far-sightedness in voting against opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.

This refuge is one of the last remaining unspoiled areas in our country. The damage done by road building, the presence of heavy machinery and oil extraction would be permanent and irreversible. To allow drilling for oil there would also mean releasing tons of additional CO2 into our atmosphere. Not only would this despoil a pristine wilderness, it would also likely add to the number of incidents of extreme weather, which scientists affirm are being made significantly worse through climate change.

Sens. Collins and King might further demonstrate their intent to help ensure a livable world for current and future Mainers by supporting legislation that promotes a carbon fee and dividend plan, as proposed by Citizens Climate Lobby (citizensclimatelobby.org).

As a Maine resident, I am very grateful for the wise decision made by each of our two senators in voting “no” to drilling in the Arctic refuge.

Margaret Bartenhagen

Kennebunk