When we inhale the air around us, we also inhale pollutants in the air.

In 1963, in one of the first steps taken to help the environment, Congress enacted the Clean Air Act to control air pollution.

In 1970, the Nixon administration approved the Environmental Protection Agency to protect the environment and human health.

Soon after the 1973 oil crisis, President Jimmy Carter created the Department of Energy to deliver a concrete energy policy. In 1977, Carter delivered a speech about energy conservation and alternative energy sources. He installed 32 solar thermal panels on the White House in 1979; they were taken down by the Reagan administration in 1981.

Last month, President Barack Obama presented a speech about the expanded awareness of solar power since he came into office in 2008. This week, he vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, the most talked-about environmental threat. Obama said he would not allow this Congress to harm America and its future generations.

Last year, the EPA proposed a plan under Obama’s Climate Action Plan to cut carbon emissions from coal power plants. The plan would set regulations for newer and already existing power plants to limiting carbon pollution. The plan also would set regulations for modifying and reconstructing power plants so they can run while emitting less air pollutants. The plan will be finalized by this summer. The states will have to consider the compliance plans to the EPA by the summer of 2016.

I recommend that Maine should agree to this plan, as should the rest of the country. The United States has a long history of supporting the environment and its people, and we should continue down that path.

Sierra Ferland

Unity College


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