Happy Earth Week! 

While every day should be Earth Day, we hope you are enjoying the spring flowers this week and have caught some of this Earth Week’s amazing events. In case you missed yesterday’s powerful COU Day of Action, you can check out these resources for how to get involved with supporting the campaign for a consumer-owned utility in Maine. And be sure to RSVP for the 350 Downeast Earth Day event, a discussion on climate change and the impact of fossil fuel extraction with David Goodrich tomorrow evening and be sure to join our Climate Justice Book Group!

We have some important calls to action in this newsletter, so pick up your pens, phones, and computers and take action to show your support for Tribal Sovereignty in Maine, fossil fuel divestment of MainePERS, and the consumer-owned utility!

CALLS TO ACTION! 

Show your Support for Tribal Sovereignty in Maine!  

  • A Tribal Sovereignty Bill is being put forward by Representative Rachel Talbot Ross with the support of the Wabanaki Alliance. The bill should be printed by next week and is similar to last year’s Tribal Sovereignty bill.
  • Both Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee and the Committee of Jurisdiction for changing the Settlement Act are in favor of the Tribes’ position and the legislation submitted on their behalf by Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross. All Democrat leadership is also supportive. 
  • The Judiciary Committee plans to hold a public hearing on Tuesday, May 4th. The public hearing will most likely start at 9am or 10am. 
  • Save the Date: Tribal Sovereignty Press Conference and Virtual Rally!Wednesday, April 28th, 10amWe will share details of the livestreaming of this Press Conference. We want a huge virtual crowd showing their support for all to see! Check out the Wabanaki Alliance Facebook page.

Check out this document for ways to support the Wabanaki Alliance and Tribal Sovereignty including writing a letter to the editor! 

350 Maine and Maine Youth for Climate Justice are asking for your support on LD 99, An Act To Require The State To Divest Itself Of Assets In The Fossil Fuel Industry!

This week you can help out by writing a letter to the editor or op-ed in support of LD 99. Check out this Op-ed (PDF) written by Representative Maggie O’Neill about why Maine needs to divest our retirement fund for the financial safety of our pensioners and our planet. Use that for inspiration, then use this document to write your own letter and submit to your local newspaper!

Contact your legislator and urge them to support the consumer-owned utility! 

Here’s a list of talking points and suggestions to help give your communication the most impact:

  • Introduce yourself and say where in Maine you live
  • Explain why it’s important to you to have a consumer-owned utility in Maine:
    • save ratepayers money
    • improve service and reliability
    • address climate change
    • put Maine’s grid under local control
    • improve rural broadband internet access
    • help Maine’s economy by providing well-paying jobs in the clean energy sector
  • Thank them for their time and consideration

Find more information and tips on the Our Power website!

350 Maine News

350 Downeast Earth Day - Thursday, April 22nd, 7:30-8:30pm

David Goodrich is making a virtual return visit to Machias to talk about his recent bicycle trip across the Northern Plains from Alberta Canada to North Dakota. David spoke with 350 Maine in 2018 about his trans-continental bicycle trip. An avid cyclist and retired climate scientist, he provides a fascinating insight on the impact of climate change. This recent bicycle trip takes a look at the environmental destruction done by extracting fossil fuels. His book about this trip, A Voyage Across an Ancient Ocean: A Bicycle Journey Through the Northern Dominion of Oil, is, “A detail-rich chronicle. The miles fly by,” according to The Washington Post.

To register for this Zoom event or for more information, email Mark Brown: Dr.MaineBlackfly@gmail.com

Climate Justice Book Group first Discussion - Monday, April 26th, 6:30pm

Our Climate Justice reading group will start off with Layla Saad's Me and White Supremacywhich will give us a potent foundation for further exploration. Facilitated by 350 Midcoast Maine volunteer Gabe Burford, discussions will be twice a month on Monday evenings at 6:30pm(4/26, 5/10, 5/24, and 6/7) to explore these deeply transformative learnings together. We'll start by discussing the first 74 pages so you don't need to have finished the book by our first meeting. Register here.

Upcoming Events

Sierra Club Earth Day Panel on the Intersectionality of Racism, Economy & Climate Change 
Thursday, April 22nd, 5-6:30pm
On Earth Day, Sierra Club will host a panel discussion on the intersectionality of racism, economy, and climate change. Speakers will include Josh Wood Race & Climate Justice Organizer and Co-Organizing Director for Maine Strikes, Ania Wright, Grassroots Climate Action Organizer for Sierra Club Maine, and Davis Taylor, Professor of Economics and Quantitative Social Studies at College of the Atlantic. Register here!
Rally Against Toxic Tanks Near Schools 
Friday, April 23rd, 4pm
Please join Protect South Portland and the No Toxic Tanks Coalition for their rally in front of the Kaler School in South Portland (16 South Kelsey Street). Densely populated South Portland has 120 oil storage tanks emitting toxic chemicals into the air next to schools, homes and senior housing. Parents concerned about their children's health are fighting for oil companies to neutralize dangerous emissions. This rally will focus on health challenges and environmental justice and calling for a strong bill to be written in the Statehouse requiring testing, monitoring and emissions controls on all above ground terminal oil storage tanks in Maine.
*CDC Guidelines and social distancing are to be observed!*

Maine Climate News

Did you hear? 

  • Some amazing Maine youth activists were featured in this article about the fight for climate justice in Maine!
  • Maine Representative Jared Golden published an opinion piece in the Bangor Daily news about modernizing Maine's Tribal-state relations. 
  • An incredible article was published in the Portland Press Herald this week about environmental advocate and MCAN member Andy Burt. 
  • Bill McKibben wrote about Maine's fight for a consumer-owned utility in an article for The New Yorker.
  • Our Power held a press conference in August this past Monday relaunching their push for a consumer-owned utility in Maine. 
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