The Gulf of Maine Research Institute reported that, in 2022, the Gulf of Maine experienced its second-warmest year on record.

As the water warms, it expands, resulting in sea-level rise. As the climate warms, storms intensify, and pow storms occur with greater frequency. The Christmas Eve storm led to substantial flooding, extensive road washouts, widespread power outages and infrastructure damage.

Properties were damaged, too. Two docks that I have used regularly, one on Mount Desert and the other on Great Spruce Head Island, were destroyed. A minor example, perhaps, but it shows that we can no longer take for granted the things that we always took for granted.

Climate change is here, and it is directly impacting our lives. We need to take immediate and comprehensive action now to address this threat by replacing fossil fuels with renewable electricity.

Perhaps the single best step that we can take is to support the consumer-owned utility initiative. For-profit investor-owned utility corporations Central Maine Power and Versant Power have proven themselves expensive and inept. Transitioning to a clean-energy economy requires major grid upgrades, and we’ll pay a premium to have these corporations do the work. They can’t access low-cost capital; Pine Tree Power can. And CMP and Versant will focus on maximizing their profits, not Maine’s long-term benefit.

If you care about climate change, vote next fall to replace CMP and Versant with Pine Tree Power, a nonprofit consumer-owned utility.

Francis Weld

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