I heartily commend Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, for promoting “Right to Dry” legislation in Maine, as is reported in the Jan. 29 Forecaster. We all are concerned about climate change and energy consumption as well as saving money in these tough economic times. Allowing each of us who live in clothesline-and-solar-restrictive homeowners’ associations, as I do in Portland and as others do across Maine, to curtail our use of clothes dryers would be a win-win on all fronts. Homeowners association members would benefit financially (lower utility bills), the country would benefit (less fossil fuels used), and the world’s climate would benefit (lower fossil fuel emissions).
Allowing the status quo to continue, wherein homeowners’ associations often prohibit clotheslines and solar collectors (usually merely for aesthetic reasons), is not an option in my book. Being practically forced to use a clothes dryer prevents those of us who would like to lessen our carbon footprint in the laundry room from doing so. It increases our monthly utility bills. Why would homeowners associations not be proud to join the climate-change cause – and to help their members save money at the same time?
I sincerely hope that Forecaster’ readers – even those not living in homeowners’ associations – will contact our state legislators and ask them to support LD 73, “An Act to Protect the Right to Use Solar Energy.” Maine has a real chance to be a national leader on this issue.

Helen Anderson