Maine Chapter

To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth

44 Oak St, Suite 301,  Portland ME 04101  (207) 761-5616

 

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State Legislation and Citizen Lobbying 

 

Thank you for your interest in citizen lobbying efforts! Civic engagement is critical to keeping Maine's environment safe and ensuring a clean energy future.

Stay Tuned to Augusta

Keep up to date on what’s happening in Augusta by tuning in on your computer to the audio streaming, and sometimes live video, to most of the committee hearings and full legislative sessions in the comfort of your own home and CARBON FREE.  

Click HERE for the Legislature's calendar which includes all the up-to-date information about the legislature, schedules of public hearings and work sessions, committee members, legislators names and districts and more. 

We will be following bills that support Smart Energy Solutions for reducing green house gases, transportation bills that  promote planning for statewide  passenger rail and stop the East West Highway, and protect the Maine Woods.

We welcome volunteers on our Legislative Action Team.  For more information and to get involved call 761-5616 or email maine.chapter@sierraclub.org.  

2014 Priority Legislation

  • LD 1602, to establish a Commission to study the effects of ocean acidification and its effects on commercial shellfish harvested on the grown along the Maine Coast.  Read testimony from Becky Bartovics, Chapter Co-Chair, in support of the bill

  • LD 646, which would weaken Maine's homegrown Renewable Energy Standards.  Here is testimony from Glen Brand, Chapter Director, in opposition to the bill.

  • LD 1147 and LD 1323, would harm or could possibly halt wind energy investment in Maine. Read the Chapter's testimony in opposition to the bills. 

  • Read testimony in support of LD 1652 and LD 1252 which would help to build a robust solar program in Maine.

 

2013 Priority Legislation

 

The following bills are our 2013 legislative priorities. Please contact your state legislators today and explain to them that you want them to vote to protect Maine's environment. For more information, please contact maine.chapter@sierraclub.org.


EAST-WEST HIGHWAY CORRIDOR:


First, we're happy to report that during a committee hearing last week it was announced that the $300,000 taxpayer-funded fiscal feasibility study on the proposed East-West highway corridor has officially been suspended. One of the bills we are supporting would have taken this money back, so we have an early victory!


Other bills that would advance our fight against the proposed East-West corporate highway corridor include:
 

    • LD 870, which directs MDOT to study most efficiency options for improving East-West transportation infrastructure, including rail.
    • LD 721, which requires more public transparency involving public private transportation partnerships.
 

Information on other bills related to the East-West highway corridor can be found here.

 

 

RAIL TRANSPORTATION:


LD 999 directs MDOT to study the extension of passenger rail service connecting Portland to Auburn on the state-owned St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railway Corridor. Advancing passenger rail service in Maine reduces greenhouse gas emissions and supports a green economy. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 1:00 p.m., State House Transportation Committee Room 126.

We also support LD 874, which authorizes a bond to invest and develop commuter rail transportation.


 

NATURAL RESOURCES:


We support LD 1302, which requires that a mining company would have to prove that there has been a mining operation in North America that has not polluted water before a permit is granted; and ensures that Maine taxpayers will not be left paying for mine clean-up costs in the future.


We support LD 72, which would open the fish passages to allow alewives access to the St. Croix River. The bill has moved out of the Marine Resources Committee on an unanimous "ought to pass" vote.


We also support LD 730 to ban large fishing sinkers and jigs made of lead, which will protect loons and other wildlife from dying from toxic lead consumption.


 

TOXICS:


We strongly support LD 902, the final adoption of a rule to prohibit the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in infant formula and baby food packaging. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, 1:00 p.m., Cross Building, Room 216.


We also support LD 1181, which requires DEP to study and identify two priority toxic chemicals each year and, if called for, proposed restrictions. The bill also phases out a loophole that exempts most food packaging from Maine's Kid Safe Products Act (KSPA).


We oppose LD 365, a bill that would open a loophole in the KSPA. A public hearing on both bills are scheduled for Thursday, April 11, 1:00 p.m., Cross Building, Room 216, in Augusta.

 

 

ENERGY EFFICIENCY:


One of top priorities in this session is to secure full funding for Efficiency Maine's energy-efficiency programs. The funding levels will be worked out during the budgeting process.
We support Senator Boyle's "Act to Improve Maine's Economy and Lower Energy Costs Through Energy Efficiency" (bill not printed yet). The bill directs the Public Utilities Commission to ensure that electric ratepayers benefit from all efficiency savings that are achievable and cost-effective, resulting in lower costs for ratepayers.


We also support restoring Maine's Uniform Building and Energy Code (LD 977), which would require energy-efficient standards for new residential buildings.

In addition, Representative McGowan has two bills we are backing, LD 927, "Act to Further Energy Independence for the State" to establish new fossil fuel reduction, energy efficiency, and renewable energy goals and LD 1292, "Act to Minimize the Use of Plastic Bags."


Finally, we support LD 825, which would require the state to study climate change and implement the recommendations of the Department of Environmental Protection's report on climate change.

 


2012, 2011, 2010 Archive

 

Your Voice Matters!

 

The Sierra Club is a grassroots organization and that means that we are only as strong as our volunteers.  How can you become an effective advocate for the environment in the Maine Legislature? 

 

Sign up for Action Alerts! Simply e-mail maine.chapter@sierraclub.org

 

The Sierra Club Maine Chapter is a member of the Environmental Priorities Coalition (EPC) as well as the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition:  Maine’s Environmental Priorities Coalition is a partnership of 26 environmental, conservation, and public health organizations representing over 100,000 members. Our goal is to provide lawmakers with a roadmap for protecting Maine people and promoting prosperity for today and future generations. Each year, several issues are selected as priorities and receive the collective support of the Coalition during the legislative session.  More info on the EPC

 

 

Useful Links

 

The Legislature

 

Maine State Legislature 

 

Locate Your Legislators 

 

State Legislative Committees 

 

Bills

 

View Bills: Full Text: Use to locate bill text by entering in Bill #

 

How a Bill Becomes Law

 

Citizen Lobbying Tips

 

Citizen's Lobbying 101

 

Tips on How to Write a Letter to the Editor 

 

For more information on our citizen lobbying effort please contact the office (207) 761-5616 or you can email:  maine.chapter@sierraclub.org

 

   

 

 
 
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