On June 12, the Press Herald published an article about the local effects of global climate change, which called recent poor air quality “the new normal.” This isn’t accurate; our environment will continue to change with a resulting increase in forest fires.

Jennifer Balch (Washington Post, June 11, 2023) wrote: “Since 2000, wildfires in the U.S. have gotten 4 times larger and 3 times more frequent.” We are breathing polluted air from Canadian fires now. Forest fires in Maine may create our very own local air pollution.

It is time for Congress to pass the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a bill that has been in Congress for years. It would put a price on carbon while returning the money collected to Americans. As prices increase, fossil fuels should gradually price themselves out of the market. Many countries and some cities have initiated a carbon price program with prices varying widely. This Congress must pass a federal law mandating a carbon price and pass it as soon as possible.

Most of us have seen the recent pictures of the smoke on much of the East Coast – although Maine wasn’t subject to severe pollution. We should all be aware that the next fires may have a terrible effect of our air. Please write to Sens. Collins and King and our Reps. Golden and Pingree, and ask them to pass a carbon bill.

Sidney Hodgdon

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