The Maine Legislature has started up the 2023-24 session, and we are all eager and ready to go! Constituents in my district spoke with me during the reelection campaign this past fall that they wanted me to continue to focus on fighting climate change.

That is a logical request for citizens of a town with five gorgeous beaches, the largest salt-water marsh in the state, and numerous delicate wetlands, many of which conserved by our local Land Trust.

I am pleased to report that the new speaker of the House, Rachael Talbot-Ross, the first black woman ever to serve in this position, has named me to the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee.

That is the committee that deals with substantial matters involving renewable electricity development, the Public Utilities Commission and ultimately our fossil fuel use in the state.

This is a tremendously strong area of interest for me, because fossil fuel emissions are the root cause of climate change and how we transition to renewable electricity and sustainable energy consumption are the issues our political leaders must take responsibility for if we are serious about addressing the climate crisis.

I will be active in many ways on the climate change issue this year. I will continue to encourage the development of other fuels. I will continue to fight to set guidelines that are realistic and necessary for our state on climate change and how we balance costs to consumers with utility rates, how we invest in renewable energy while balancing issues like protected land for farmers and sealife for lobstermen. I will also continue to look at all of the costs that climate change brings negatively to the state of Maine, and will fight for a fair system of payment of those costs and remediation measures. Climate change is a national and global crisis, and while Maine can and must be a leader to finding equitable transition and mitigation measures, we cannot be tasked with bearing the immense burdens alone.

As usual, I welcome your input, ideas, suggestions and questions. If there’s any issue you think that I should tackle, please feel free to let me know.

My contact information is: P.O. Box 1, Scarborough, ME 04070; [email protected]; and (207) 450-0765.

I also would love to hear from you on how things are going in your life, and what we can do to make Scarborough a better place to live. Happy new year to you and your loved ones!

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