A recent editorial in the Press Herald noted the absurdity of some of the Republican rhetoric regarding who cares more about lobster fishing and the Gulf of Maine (“Our View: Republicans offer anger, but no real solutions, for lobster industry,” Oct. 23). The paper rightly points out that we all have a shared interest in the health of the Gulf of Maine, thriving fisheries and a future that addresses the impacts of climate change.  

So why is the Maine Republican Party attacking Maine Conservation Voters’ endorsement of Gov. Mills for reelection? Simply put, the party is trying to distract voters from Paul LePage’s terrible environmental record, which is embarrassingly out of step with Maine people and puts the most vulnerable of our state – like seniors and children – at risk. 

Sometimes distinguishing between two candidates for office is difficult. In the race for governor, the choice is clear. Gov. Mills is driving Maine forward to a clean-energy future and protecting our land, water and health. Paul LePage would slam the car into reverse. 

When Gov. Mills delivered her inaugural address on Jan. 2, 2019, she vowed to chart a new course to tackle climate change and grow Maine’s clean-energy economy. For the last four years, the governor has lived that promise, restoring Maine’s reputation as a climate and conservation leader and challenging other states to match our progress, asking: “Maine won’t wait. Will you?” 

With overwhelming bipartisan support, Gov. Mills set Maine on a course to achieve 80% clean, renewable energy by 2030 while reducing the state’s dependence on oil. She committed to reducing carbon pollution by 80% by 2050. And, at the same time, she has honored her commitment to make sure our waters, wildlife and way of life are protected for our kids and grandkids. 

Gov. Mills has done this by investing in programs like Land for Maine’s Future, upgrading water quality standards for our rivers and supporting farmers whose livelihoods have been harmed by dangerous forever chemicals like PFAS contamination.  


Paul LePage, by contrast, was one of the most anti-environmental governors in history. Instead of making progress on pressing issues like climate change, he spent eight years attacking basic protections for our waters, health, land and wildlife. He blocked voter-approved bond funding for the popular Land for Maine’s Future program, acting against the will of the people, sportsmen and even his own party.      

LePage repeatedly opposed renewable-energy projects, putting Maine last place in New England for solar jobs while keeping the state dependent on foreign oil. He revived and led a coalition to open up Maine’s coasts to destructive oil and gas exploration, despite opposition from businesses, fishermen and Maine’s entire congressional delegation. He also put an oil industry lobbyist in charge of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. 

And despite rising temperatures, more tick-borne illnesses and damage from sea-level rise, LePage said climate change was not a threat to Maine communities. He even claimed climate change could be a good thing for the state. In a telling move, after leaving office, LePage was paid as a lobbyist to advocate for Central Maine Power’s interests. 

To this day, LePage still doesn’t understand that the health of Maine’s environment, people and economy are deeply connected.  

During the LePage administration, we lost precious time in the fight against climate change. His inaction on clean energy was short-sighted and irresponsible, costing us jobs, keeping us dependent on oil and turning our back on future generations. 

Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund is proud to endorse Gov. Mills for reelection. With her leadership, Maine is moving ahead on the right path. We can’t afford to let her opponent, Paul LePage, take Maine backward again. What we do over the next few years will determine the future we create for our children. We need a governor of action – we need Janet Mills.  

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