As a young climate activist in rural Maine, I have appreciated the recent strides my state has made toward climate solutions.

I have worked alongside inspiring youth around the state who have helped to push for real change in the face of old, stagnant systems. Now, we have a state climate action plan with significant goals to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and substantial plans to get there, so that my generation actually has a fighting chance at a safe and healthy future.

However, the work is far from over, and those same dormant systems are threatening to slow needed progress. The Build Back Better Act would be the largest investment our country has ever seen in climate solutions, but over the past few months it has seen cuts, delays and negotiations that leave its passage up in the air. As we narrow in on the final few weeks of the process, it is more important than ever that our members of Congress step up to support the historic legislation.

We’ve done a lot in Maine, but we can’t solve the climate crisis on our own. We need this support, and we need it now.

I am disappointed that Rep. Jared Golden voted against the bill in the first House vote, especially given ongoing climate impacts and the relief the bill will provide to Maine’s people and environment. He must vote “yes” if he has another shot at the bill, and the rest of Maine’s delegation must do the same.

Madison Sheppard

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