Thanks for your excellent March 28 editorial, headlined “Our View: Transit plan lays out route for Maine’s future.” The time is long past for us to be making changes in the way people get around Maine.

For those who say it can’t be done in our state, just check out the history of railroads reaching far and wide in Maine during the “old days” before the gas-guzzling and polluting cars changed everything – for the worse.

If we hope to truly offer the future generations a chance to live on Mother Earth, then we need to build commuter rail up and down the state. The key question is: Who will build these transit systems?

Will the new jobs building commuter rail for Maine be in Canada, in Japan or at Bath Iron Works? Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Brown University show that we’d nearly double the numbers of jobs at BIW if we’d convert the shipyard toward sustainable production. More destroyers are not going to help us deal with the climate crisis. In fact, the Pentagon has the largest carbon footprint on the planet, according to researchers for the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute.

So as we begin to plan, let’s go all the way and do it right. This is not the time to take half measures. Let’s build commuter rail, offshore wind turbines and tidal power systems at BIW.

For more information, visit

Bruce Gagnon

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