As Mainers, we’re fortunate enough to have access to clean water and natural resources that are not accessible by all across our country. Forests, rivers and the ocean are all key to sustaining and growing an economy that benefits everyone. That’s why it’s urgent to protect them and invest in renewable energy sources that won’t cause harm to the lands we all love.

By switching to a renewable-energy economy, we are not only benefiting our environment, but also creating jobs in the process.

Growing up along the coast of Camden never ceased to provide me with things to do or try. All around me are lakes, ponds, mountains, rivers, hiking trails and other opportunities. Regardless of the direction you walk, bike or drive in, there is an abundance of natural resources that must be protected from the effects of climate change.

It would be easier to believe that climate change isn’t already impacting some of our communities, but that’s not the case. Rising sea levels, increased flooding and the threat of lobsters migrating north are already challenges we must face. That’s why we must invest in renewable energy.

L.D. 1494, “An Act to Reform Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard,” is step one in encouraging the use of renewable energy, such as wind, solar and hydro. Renewable Portfolio Standard policies have created nearly 12,000 jobs and contributed more than $1 billion to our state’s economy. If enacted, it will increase Maine’s RPS to 80 percent by 2030. Essentially, by 2030, 80 percent of the energy produced in Maine must come from renewable sources.

As Mainers, we must step up and urge our elected officials to take action and support this legislation for our collective future. Further inaction will only exacerbate the problems at hand, and there’s not much time to spare.

Jackson Chadwick

Camden

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