Lance Tapley’s article on the Green Party, “Practical Green Politics,” (The Free Press, September 17) was very disappointing. I interviewed for half an hour with Lance and he chose to deliberately misrepresent me and my campaign for U.S. Senate. The focus of my campaign is on addressing climate change in ways that will benefit the Maine economy in the short term and protect our planet in the long term. Maine can be a leader in implementing climate solutions, and has the opportunity to create thousands upon thousands of jobs in both clean energy and regenerative agriculture. We can lead the nation to a vibrant and sustainable future, but not as long as federal policies support endless wars for oil. Maine needs a Senator who will fight for peace, justice and equality.

Instead, Maine collectively spends over $4 billion each year importing fossil fuels from outside the state. Over the last decade, $50 billion has been drained from our state economy for oil, coal, natural gas and other petrochemicals, which has hit our poorest citizens the hardest. We can help every Maine family to transition their homes to efficiency and clean energy, which will both improve comfort and reduce costs. This will also create thousands of jobs in communities throughout Maine. Air sealing, insulating and installing heat pumps or solar on a home cannot be done by overseas workers. A national carbon tax and dividend to every citizen can help fund this transition, as would a Green Bank at either the State or Federal level (an issue on which I helped draft a bill for the 2019 Maine Legislature).

Simultaneously, we import around 90 percent of our food from outside the state. Most of this imported food degrades the environment due to poor corporate food production practices (heavy spray, monocultures and over-fertilization, leading to oceanic dead zones, confined animal feedlots, etc.), and has less nutritional value than locally grown organic food. Maine is a leader in organic agriculture, and has the potential to lead the nation toward small regenerative agriculture – smaller, family farms that add more carbon to the soil than they extract, helping sequester CO2 while building soil health. This will also retain billions of dollars in our local economy, creating prosperous local communities.

Lance also chose not to include statistics that I provided in response to his question about creating term limits by limiting the age that citizens can run for Congress, Senate or president. Since there is already a minimum age established in the U.S. Constitution (25 for Congress, 30 for Senate and 35 for president), it seems reasonable to create a maximum age to run as well. I find it absurd that there are currently more senators who are 79 or older (12) than there are who are 50 or younger (11), which clearly does not well-represent the half of the U.S. population who are under 40. Maine is the oldest state in the nation, with an average age of 44. The average age in the U.S. Senate is over 65. Maybe a traditional term limit (two terms and you’re done) would be a better approach; I am simply trying to broaden the conversation. With 22 senators who have served over 20 years, there is clearly need for a change.

My preferred course of action is to pass a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are NOT people and money is NOT free speech. This would decrease the number of corrupt politicians handing out all our taxpayer dollars to their corporate supporters (like the pharmaceutical industry, insurance industry, military/industrial/fossil fuel complex, and all the other multinational corporations that greedily suck up our tax revenue while everyday Americans suffer). To learn more about my campaign, please visit my website: gibson2020.com.

David Gibson, Morrill