I’m writing to ask Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King to oppose the suggested budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency for 2019.

I was pleased that the budget was not cut for 2018, but the EPA is still far from safe. I understand that the current administration wants to save money by cutting what it calls unnecessary regulations and activities. But I strongly disagree with the idea that these are not needed.

I’m concerned about what these changes will mean. They will have a negative impact on the health of the people in Maine and throughout the country.

One issue is that the proposed budget will make our air quality worse. It will do this by repealing requirements to reduce wasted methane from natural gas and oil drilling.

And methane is a significant greenhouse gas that adds to climate change.

But this is only one attack on attempts to help with climate change. The bill would also nearly eliminate any funding for programs related to climate change, as well as funds to prosecute environmental crimes.

As if that weren’t bad enough, the budget also attacks energy and research programs. This directly impacts our ability to research and prepare for future risks – risks we will face even sooner if greenhouse gases continue unchecked.

I hope our Maine senators are paying attention. I ask that they stand up for the health and safety of the people of Maine, as well as the safety of our country and planet.

Erica L. Bartlett

Portland