Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage sent a letter this week to President Trump opposing proposed regulations designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales that LePage says will be detrimental to the state’s signature lobster industry.

In his three-page letter, LePage called the proposal by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to reduce the number of end lines – the ropes that connect traps to buoys – by 50 percent “another federal overreach in response to big money environmentalists.”

The ex-Republican governor, who served two terms before being succeeded by Democrat Janet Mills, has been bartending this summer in Boothbay Harbor, where his wife, Ann LePage, is working as a server. He wrote that customers there have been talking about the rules and the disastrous impact they could have.

LePage highlighted in his letter the many ways in which Maine’s lobster industry already has made changes to reduce the risk of whale entanglements.

“Maine’s entire lobster industry is in turmoil because these businesses cannot plan what their next year will look like,” LePage wrote. “This issue reminds me of the plight of the coal miners in West Virginia for whom you have advocated so passionately. Liberal environmentalists disparage the hard, dangerous jobs done by real people.”

It’s not clear why LePage sent the letter. Maine’s entire congressional delegation, as well as Gov. Janet Mills, already have opposed the regulations. But LePage has frequently tried to keep a public profile and has even teased another run for governor in 2022. He signed the letter as honorary chair of Maine People Before Politics, a political action committee that formed with leftover money from his 2010 campaign for governor but was largely dormant during his tenure.

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