As a voter who supported Rep. Pat Flood in the past election, I want to both thank him and hold him accountable for his poor environmental voting record. I supported him because he convinced me he would support Maine’s environmental safeguards.

As House Appropriations Committee Chairman, Flood deserves credit for his work on the budget. The fact that a budget was passed, however flawed, with strong bipartisan support shows real leadership, and Flood deserves our thanks. His hard work on the budget, however, is not an excuse for his poor environmental voting record this session.

He voted for a study commission that appears designed to abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission. If Maine’s North Woods are swallowed up by unplanned, piecemeal development, it will be lost forever as a source of forest products, jobs, and historic uses such as hunting, fishing and environmental tourism.

Flood also voted to exempt 400 Maine towns — about half the state — from the Uniform Building and Energy Code; that’s a massive loophole. As a trained energy auditor, I know that poorly constructed, energy-inefficient homes are no bargain in the long run.

Now many Maine towns, including Readfield, will be exempted from basic minimum energy efficiency standards for new homes, meaning higher energy use and cost.

Lastly, Flood and the rest of the Appropriations Committee failed to allow Efficiency Maine and the Public Utilities Commission to increase funding for energy efficiency programs, in spite of more than 400 businesses urging the Legislature to make energy efficiency funding a high priority.

In years past, Flood has demonstrated that he cares about Maine’s environment. I was very disappointed that his record this year did not reflect this. I hope that next session Flood will make Maine’s environment more of a priority.

David Sait


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