Maine took control of the state’s energy and economic future when the Mills administration announced its decision to recommend Sears Island as the site of a new port to support offshore wind.

A new offshore wind industry will support good union jobs in the Midcoast and across Maine, creating a path to the middle class for working men and women, helping to bolster our ability to determine our energy and climate future.

In a lengthy evaluation process led by the Maine Department of Transportation and including a broad range of stakeholders, Sears Island was chosen based on a comprehensive environmental and economic analysis.

While other locations, including Mack Point in Searsport, were considered, it became increasingly clear that Sears Island, which is owned by the state and was purchased with the intent of developing a new port, was the best site. That said, we recognize that there is a long state and federal process ahead of us, which will include additional site analysis and a review of other potential alternatives. Representing construction unions and as members of the Maine AFL-CIO, we appreciate the work of the Maine Department of Transportation and the leadership of Gov. Janet Mills.

The Sears Island site offers the amount of space required for the development of a comprehensive commercial wind industry (and the thousands of jobs that come with it). Just as importantly, it protects valuable fishing grounds upon which generations of local families depend for their livelihoods.

A coalition of union leaders and workers, environmental organizations, environmental justice communities and youth climate leaders fought hard to catalyze this industry, a long-overdue and large-scale effort towards reversing the devastating impacts of climate change. At the same time, by creating good union jobs with family-sustaining wages and benefits, as well as unmatched training opportunities for a diverse workforce of the future, this project will also contribute to a just and equitable transition for working Mainers hurt by climate change’s effects.


Once constructed, this port will facilitate decades of those good union jobs in an area that has suffered the devastating impact of shuttered industries. Further, we will continue to stand with the local community; its members play a key role by driving the conversation about how their new neighbors must ensure the immense benefits of this home-grown industry are enjoyed by all who live, work, play and pray in Searsport and beyond.

More specifically, the union movement and our thousands of members who call the Midcoast home, along with the tens of thousands more across Maine, will continue to hold the megaphone for our strong and growing coalition, including our friends and neighbors whose voices continue to be the most powerful weapon against those who would deny the environmental, economic and community benefits associated with a thoughtfully constructed and broadly collaborative new industry.

Those voices, amplified by solidarity and a unified vision, will help Maine take control of its energy future. Because those voices insisted on high-road, home-grown union construction careers, protected our iconic fishing industry and ensured a skilled and diverse workforce via union registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, we will have the people.

Because of the foresight of elected and appointed officials in Searsport, the Midcoast and in Augusta, the plan now includes a recommended location and a pathway forward. Informed by Maine sensibility and bolstered by our work ethic, we must now all do what union members do best: work overtime to build this industry, build our community and build Maine.

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