Maine is pro-environment. Our state inspired Ed Muskie to draft the groundbreaking Clean Water and Clean Air acts. Maine was the first state with a successful electronic-waste law – a law I worked to pass – and was first to enact a greenhouse-gas law.

Given Maine values, it’s shocking to see Sen. Susan Collins breaking with Maine’s pro-environment tradition.

Collins’ current environmental voting score from the League of Conservation Voters is just 21 percent. For comparison, Angus King scores 93 percent. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire have scores of 93 percent and 100 percent respectively. The U.S. Senate average is 51 percent.

Collins once had a better environmental voting record but today lines up more with coal and oil lobbyists. Today, we cannot expect our senior senator to protect the fish and wildlife so vital to our economy or work to reduce toxic hazards to our children.

Collins now routinely votes to install anti-environmental zealots into key government posts. For example, in 2017, Collins voted to confirm Ryan Zinke, ally of corporate polluters, for interior secretary. Zinke later resigned in disgrace amid corruption charges. Collins also voted to confirm coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as deputy Environmental Protection Agency administrator. She later voted against Wheeler’s promotion to head the EPA, but only when that confirmation was guaranteed.

The anti-environmental votes are happening as Collins gives more blind loyalty to her political party. There may have been a time when Collins earned the label of “moderate” but no longer. Collins now casts 94 percent of her votes with President Trump. Simply put, Sen. Collins is not today a moderate, and the environment is a major victim of her shift.

Susan Collins’ anti-environmental turn demonstrates she no longer represents Maine values. It is time Maine people again elected someone who does.

Jon Hinck

Portland


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