Business Leaders Urge Lawmakers to Adhere to Guidelines in “Regulatory Reform” for Environment Proposed Last Month by Governor

Happy Valentine's Day

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 714)

Earlier today a group of businessmen and women urged State lawmakers to adhere to five guidelines in deciding what rollbacks to make in the coming legislative session in Augusta.   The guidelines were made in response to the Governor’s LD 1 proposals which many see as a threat to Maine’s environment and to the health of Maine people.  The rally happened at noon in the State House.

Those guidelines are: 1) Proposals should benefit Maine people and businesses and not the special ingterests of out-of-state corporations that do not employ Maine workers; 2) Proposals must have a direct relationship to strengthening Maine’s sconomy and creating good Maine Jobs and must not put current jobs ar risk; 3) Proposals should focus on improved implementation of Maine’s laws and regulations, and not on a weakening of Maine’s environmental standards and safeguards; 4) Proposals should be founded on well-documented opportunities for process improvements and nodt be based on an isolated case, single anaecdote or unsubstantiated assertion; and 5) Proposals must ensure continued protection of Maine’s air, water, land wildlife and the good health of Mane people.

Heather Blease, Marketing and Sales Director for the Thayer Corporation, Auburn, urged lawmakers to use a “principle-based approach to regulatory reform.” Thayer is involved in energy efficiency and alternative energy.  “Maine has old and inefficient buildings and there is a huge need to refrofit these buildings so that they waste less energy and less of the precious dollars of the owners  of those buildings,” said Blease, according to a press release just released by the National Resources Council of Maine.

Horace Hildreth testified that “Angus King put it best when he pointed out that these laws have protected the one single advantage that Maine has over other states in the northeast in attracting people and business, namely, our environment and qualify of life.” He went on to say that the “63 so-called ‘reform’ proposals which were written by lobbyists for big out-of-state corporations, would do just that. (wreck the economy) All Federal standards are a lowest common denominator, imposed to make sure that even the most environmentally backward states conform to some kind of a minimum standard.”

Jim Wellehan said that “all well-run, forward-looking companies-especially here in Maine – understand the tight connection between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.”  He cited Hannaford, Poland Springs, LL Bean, Tom’s of Maine, TD Bank, Oakhurst as some of the companies that ..stepped out into a leadeship role in reducing the environmental impacts of their business…” Wellehan said that: “any regulatory reform proposal worth enacting must ensure continued protection of Maine’s air, water, land wildlife and the good health of Maine people.”

Editor’s Note:  MHN.com had planned on attending the day long hearings, but her car had different ideas and spent the day in the repair shop.