Maine Senator David Miramant
Maine Senator David Miramant
In my former career as an airline pilot, I had the great privilege to travel to all corners of the U.S. and the world. This led me to have a deep appreciation of our environment and the great diversity of our ecosystems. As a legislator, one of my primary goals has been to protect our natural resources so that they last for generations to come. We are already beginning to see the devastating impacts of climate change, whether it’s the warming of the Gulf of Maine waters, species endangerment and extinction, or unpredictable growing seasons for our farmers. Despite the challenges that lie before us, I’m hopeful about our ability to continue to address all of these issues as a state.

Over the past decade that I’ve been in public office, we’ve worked hard to pass smart, science-based public policies to protect our environment and way of life. However, you know as well as I do that laws can be changed, amended or repealed when the political tides turn. The fact that one group of politicians can deeply change our ability to stay resilient to climate change is unacceptable, and I believe that we need a stronger system in place to protect our environment and natural resources regardless of which political party is in charge. That’s why I’m excited to support new legislation known as the Pine Tree Amendment that would guarantee Mainers’ right to a healthy environment.

The Pine Tree Amendment, sponsored by Sen. Chloe Maxmin, my colleague in Lincoln County, would amend the state Constitution to guarantee the people of Maine a right to a clean and healthy environment and to the preservation of the natural, cultural, recreational, scenic and healthful qualities of the environment. This bill takes environmental protection a step further by holding government accountable so that no governor, Legislature or law can violate this right.

Our natural resources serve as a bedrock for our way of life. We should never take our clean air and water for granted, and we must do our part to protect them for future generations. I believe that the Pine Tree Amendment is the best next step to take in Maine so that no matter who is in government our rights to a clean environment are protected.

Not only do I believe that this is the right thing to do, but I know it makes sense for our economy, too. This groundbreaking bill would protect the environment for Maine people, recreational enthusiasts and workers who rely on Maine’s natural resources to make a living. We know that our environment and way of life are being threatened. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99% of the world’s oceans, and our state’s annual temperature has warmed 3.2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895. Warming has shortened our winters and lengthened our summers by two weeks on average over the past century. Our lobster fishers are already seeing the impacts of warming waters on their catch, and our farmers struggle with increased unpredictability of their growing season. I know that we depend on our natural resources to provide for us. Not only that, but now and in the generations to come we deserve to breathe clean air and drink clean water.

Similar constitutional amendments have been passed in Pennsylvania and Montana. As a constitutional amendment, LD 489 would require a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate chambers as well as the governor’s signature. It would then go to the voters for their approval at the ballot box. The issues facing our state over the next years are great, but I know that if we work together and come up with innovative solutions like the Pine Tree Amendment, we can overcome.

As always, if you have any questions, concerns or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at david.miramant@legislature.maine.gov or call my office at 287-1515.