Last year Sen. Susan Collins was right to vote against the confirmation of Scott Pruitt to the position of administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, citing his opposition to numerous environmental protections that the state of Maine relies on for livelihood, conservation and public health. Now Collins has another opportunity to protect our environment by voting against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

When Collins rejected Pruitt, she cited her conviction that limiting cross-state pollution, lowering mercury levels and reducing greenhouse gases are critical issues for the state of Maine. They are: Maine is on the receiving end of all the pollution that other states create upwind. But Kavanaugh doesn’t care about our air quality, and has consistently ruled in favor of industrial polluters.

In 2012, Kavanaugh led the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in striking down an EPA rule for lowering cross-state pollution. The Clean Air Act’s “good neighbor” provision was specifically written to help the EPA address air pollution spreading from one state to another, but Kavanaugh found a way to interpret it so narrowly as to make it ineffective. Kavanaugh used overly narrow interpretations again in 2014 to rule against limiting poisonous mercury pollution, and again in 2017 to strike down restrictions on potent greenhouse gases.

We should not elevate Kavanaugh’s environmental narrowness to the Supreme Court, especially when the balance of the court is at stake. For 30 years, Justice Anthony Kennedy voted reliably in favor of strong environmental protections. If Kavanaugh takes his place, he’d create a new anti-environment majority with the other four conservative justices and all but hand our future over to the polluters.

Sen. Collins, please stand up for a healthy environment once again and put the people of Maine ahead of party or politics. Protect our environment by voting against Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Charles Skold


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