Maine congressional delegation can lead on climate change and election integrity


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John M. Fitzgerald of Sedgwick is the attorney for the non-profit organization Methane Action. He also sits on the boards of the Climate Protection and Restoration Initiative and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Climate change is causing unprecedented heat, drought, fires, floods and health effects. Both carbon dioxide and methane have reached records Last year. Methane alone is responsible for at least 30% of global warming and its impact on the climate is several times greater than that of CO2. Methane levels are rising rapidly and are upper today than at any time for which we have records (800,000 years).

The President should enact the Cut Inflation Act which includes massive support for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the planet is warming so fast that we need to find ways not only to add less pollution, but also to eliminate large amounts of the most powerful greenhouse effect. gases, such as methane, to be able to restore a healthy climate. Our Congressional delegation could make sure of that.

Meanwhile, at least 18 states have laws enacted make it more difficult to vote. Some give their secretaries of state the power to alter election results without evidence of voter fraud. These are also states whose congressional delegations generally oppose climate legislation.

Maine led ahead. Rufus Kingwho was born in Scarborough, represented Massachusetts in the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention in 1787. He demanded a end date in the Constitution for the importation of slaves and slavery prohibited in the new Northern States in the North-West Ordinance.

maine sent more men per capita than any other northern state to fight and die in civil war, to secure freedom and the right to vote for enslaved Americans.

Maine Senator Edmund Muskie co-authored our most powerful environmental laws.

Now the country needs Maine’s leadership again.

Senator Susan Collins is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. It determines the amount and use of funding from federal agencies. She did not vote for the Cut Inflation Act, but she introduced bills to protect the integrity of electionsthe choice of voters by voters and the CREST Act, S. 4422, to accelerate several ways to remove carbon dioxide.

Senator Angus King has co-sponsored S. 4422 and serves on the Referred Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. He could strengthen the bill to demand that it accelerate the removal of methane as well as carbon dioxide, as many scientific and political experts have recommended. They say we need to accelerate research and development of specific methane removal and governance methods for all climate interventions.

King also sits on the Rules and Administration Committee which has jurisdiction over most election laws. It could offer provisions to help enforce the 14th amendment, which prohibits insurgents and officials who aided and comforted them from performing their duties again. This could include the eight senators and 139 members of the House of Representatives who voted for at least one of the resolutions to replace duly elected voters in Pennsylvania or Arizona as part of efforts to restore President Donald Trump.

The 14th Amendment also requires that state congressional delegations that restrict the right to vote in any state or federal election in any way be reduced commensurate with their discrimination. King could also propose provisions enforcing this clause by reducing state delegations limiting voting access.

Rep. Chellie Pingree chairs the Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. He leads the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, and Forest Service in everything they do, including reducing and eliminating climate pollutants. He could expand and fund Collins’ climate bill, and order the EPA to require the removal of methane, as well as the removal of carbon dioxide, and work with other countries to make likewise. Removing methane would moderate global warming and also reduce ground-level ozone, which harms human health and reduces crop yields.

Rep. Jared Golden serves on the Armed Services and Small Business Committees. He could encourage the Navy, Naval Academy, Maine Maritime Academy and Bath Iron Works to work with the EPA and Department of Energy to test and deploy methane removal methods. Researchers from the universities of Stanford, Cambridge and Copenhagen are demonstrate methods to enhance natural methane oxidation to rapidly remove methane on a large scale and in a cost-effective manner. But methane phase-out needs more funding to move toward deployment.

Golden could encourage the Small Business Administration to help train technicians to install methane filters near sources of emissions. This technology is being developed for livestock barns, sewage treatment plants, landfills, coal, oil and gas infrastructure.

Members of the Maine delegation are in a position to offer solutions, and they must act quickly, before the forces now at work tilt our democracy and our climate.


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