Thursday, January 27, 2011

Real Mainers Lash Out At LePage War on Environment

This is actually heartening to see. A public meeting in Belfast to discuss the regulatory environment apparently turned into an outpouring of anger directed at Paul LePage's very public desire to slash and burn Maine' environmental protection laws.

Many of those in attendance made the point that LePage's "pro-business" stance is actually a direct threat to Maine's #1 drawing point: its pristine natural environment and the tourism that it brings:

“Please don’t gut what we’ve got,” said Diane Allmayer-Beck of Belfast. “We have the most beautiful state in the union. Don’t ruin it.”


“The unofficial slogan of Maine is if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said Marina Delune, a Belfast city councilor. “As a native Mainer, I would urge you to be very careful about gutting any regulations that are protecting our state. … Our livelihood depends on the beauty of our state.”

It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction LePage's proposals get outside of the Chamber crowd. Most Mainers, especially those in the populous and popular coastal areas, understand that one of the few things separating Maine from the Appalachian poverty of western New York, rural Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia, etc. is the commerce driven by environmental tourism. You know, that whole Vacationland thing? And it's not just a money issue either. Mainers are proud of their states beauty, and rightfully so. Sorry, but we don't want Slurm industrial byproducts dumped into Casco Bay. I very much hope that the very predictable backlash will give Governor LePage pause.

No comments: