The Portland Press Herald’s editorial opposing a new East Coast missile defense site is a welcome perspective (“Our View: There’s no place in Maine for missile defense site,” Aug. 20).

As the editorial points out, spending more money on a broken and militarily unnecessary system could be devastating for the environment.

Moreover, it would reinforce a backward kind of economic development for the state.

As someone who ran for state office while working as a cashier making $8 an hour (despite my college degree and considerable experience in public relations), I know well that Maine’s economy needs a jump start. But there are much more efficient and effective ways to stimulate economic growth in our state.

Indeed, the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that building an East Coast missile defense site may provide the state with about 700 jobs, while a similar investment in Maine’s wind energy sector could create several thousand.

Those who know me know that I will tell you that responsible marijuana legalization is another way to promote economic growth.

But whatever your preferred method, let’s move past the myth that defense dollars are the best way to invest in the economy – not least because we don’t need the hardware in the first place.

Rep. Diane Russell


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