There has been a lot of media regarding the problems on Interstate 295, most of it around speed, safety and the lack of resources to police the driving.

But the real issue is not the speed, although it is indicative of the bigger problem. The bigger problem – the global problem – is the tendency by policymakers to continue to invest scarce public dollars in an asphalt-based transportation system that is causing 35,000 deaths a year, more than one per day in Maine alone.

That the Maine Department of Transportation, under the administration of Gov. Paul LePage, increased the speed on interstates is a tragedy, not only for those injured and worse on Maine’s roads, but also for the fragile climate in Maine, which now suffers under increased air pollution emissions and congestion.

The fact is, our dependence on oil and the fossil fuel industry is hurting our collective health, killing our environment and in turn our planet. That the new administration under President-elect Donald Trump is furthering this with appointments like Oklahoman Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency is madness. This man is part of the antiquated corporate fossil fuel empire that is ravaging the planet for short-term profits.

Our Sen. Susan Collins is one voice who can vote against this horrible appointment. The people of Maine respect our environment. I implore the senator to vote “no,” and I ask all Maine residents to tell the senator the same.

Anthony Donovan

co-chair, Sierra Club Maine

Portland


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