2018-03-02 / Letters

Say no to drilling in coastal waters

To the editor:

The U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed an oil and gas leasing program in Maine’s Coastal Waters for 2019-2024.

With Maine’s lobster fishery contributing $1.7 billion annually to our state’s economy and coastal tourism bringing in $4 billion each year, we have a lot to lose in the event of an oil spill like the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

And, when too many Mainers have respiratory illnesses from wind-borne pollution, we do not need toxic fumes from drilling and fracking spewing into the air we breathe.

Here in Maine, the Department of the Interior is providing just one forum for public comments on their plan, at the Augusta Civic Center on March 7.

This will be a science fair style event, with information booths and computers for submitting comments.

Fortunately, in another room at the same venue, the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), with the support of other environmental groups, will simultaneously hold an actual public hearing, to be videotaped in full, where all who wish can speak and be heard by everyone present:

Date: Wednesday, March 7

Time: 2 to 7 p.m. – NRCM press conference and hearings by NRCM and Department of the Interior

Venue: Augusta Civic Center

Address: 76 Community Drive, Augusta, ME 04330

Another essential way to express your opinion is to submit a written comment to the Department of the Interior.

To make this easy, NRCM has provided a link on their website, www.nrem.org, and click on Take Action.

The deadline for public comments is Friday, March 9.

Please raise your voice, because the force of public opinion is vital for preventing this plan that poses grave risks for our environment, our economy and our health.

Jane Palmer

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