Augusta, MAINE – While Maine’s Republican gubernatorial candidates once again remain silent, Maine’s Democratic candidates for Governor today came out in opposition to President Trump’s proposal to expand offshore drilling, which could possibly occur off the coast of Maine.
The statements come after the Maine Democratic Party earlier today called on the Republican gubernatorial candidates to break from Governor Paul LePage and oppose the plan. Maine’s entire Congressional delegation also opposes the proposal.
“Unless your goal is to keep Maine’s economic growth, job creation, and income growth well below that of New England and the country as a whole as it has been for the past seven-plus years, then drilling for oil off the Maine Coast is a horrible idea,” said Adam Cote. “As a renewable energy entrepreneur and as one of President Obama’s national ‘Champions of Change’ recognizing my work as a veteran to advance clean energy and climate security, I deeply understand the importance of this issue. With change and the right leadership, Maine’s energy future lies not in chasing the energy sources of the 19th and 20th centuries, but in leading our region, country and world in the clean energy sources and technology of this young century. Maine has everything it needs, other than the right leadership, to lead on solar, properly-sited onshore and offshore wind, tidal, biomass and other renewable sources while creating thousands of good jobs across our state. That is the positive, constructive vision I will make a top priority as governor.”
“No to more investments in dirty energy,” said Betsy Sweet. “Maine has untapped solar and tidal and wind power for the future. Beyond energy concerns, it is ridiculous to even consider this action which has the potential to seriously damage Maine's fisheries and tourist economies."
“To this day, traces of oil can be found in Casco Bay after the 1996 Julie N. oil spill that left more than 38,000 gallons of oil still in the ocean,” said Diane Russell. “The spill devastated the economy, brought fishing boats to a standstill and cost more than $43 million to clean up. From a ridiculous president comes a ridiculous proposal, the latter of which should be drowned in the Gulf of Maine without ceremony."
“The last thing we should be doing is exposing Maine’s fisheries, lobsterman, and coastline to the type of economic and environmental devastation we’ve seen over and over from offshore drilling,” said Janet Mills. “As Attorney General I’ve repeatedly brought the Trump administration to court over their attempts to gut key environmental protections, and as Governor I’ll continue to do everything in my power to protect Maine’s people and natural resources.”
“Gov. LePage and the Trump administration ignore science and would put US coastal waters at risk,” said Jim Boyle. “We should be advancing renewable energy, which could help to fight global climate change, not endorsing policies that threaten our fisheries, tourism industry and increase our dependence on oil. Instead of padding the pockets of huge oil companies, we should be looking out for the interests of Maine people.”
“Expanded offshore drilling is yet another example of the Trump administration marching our nation backward,” said Mark Eves. “Maine’s lobster and fishing industries depend on clean water for their livelihoods, and we depend on them for our food and economic well-being. We all saw what happened in the Gulf of Mexico a few years ago. This shortsighted plan is, plain and simple, a threat to our way of life.”
"Expanding offshore drilling poses an unacceptable risk to Maine's environment and coastal economy,” said Steve DeAngelis. “At this time we should be expanding renewable energy options, not doubling down on fossil fuels."
BACKGROUND: In the past, Governor LePage has expressed support for the possibility of drilling off the coast of Maine, and he also chaired the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition which supports pursing the expansion of offshore drilling. Meanwhile, Maine’s entire Congressional delegation opposes drilling off the coast of Maine.