Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage said today  he wants to clarify his position on the environment in response to criticism from opponents that has included two television commercials paid for by Democrats.

During a Franklin County Chamber of Commerce forum attended by LePage and independents Kevin Scott and Shawn Moody, LePage said common sense, best practices, best technology, “proven science” and honesty are needed when it comes to environmental regulations.

He said he wanted Democrat Libby Mitchell and independent Eliot Cutler, neither of whom attended the forum, to hear his message.

“I wish my two other opponents were here so they could hear me once and for all address this issue,” LePage said at the University of Maine at Farmington. “We do not want to turn the clock back.”

Earlier this week, Mitchell launched her television ad campaign for the fall with a commercial in which she says “Paul LePage wants to eliminate our environmental protections that keep our waters clean and our air pure.”

And two weeks ago, the Democratic Governors Association began running ads that say “Tell Paul LePage his pro-nuke, pro-drilling policies are wrong for Maine.”

The Farmington forum featured audience questions that covered topics such as health care, school consolidation, the state budget and a new state law that seeks to regulate motorcycle noise. It was an early morning – and low key – event.