In celebration of March as Women’s History Month, I would like to thank and praise several women who have and continue to fight for crucial environmental protections.

Women are making an impact, but their contributions to conservation too-often goes unrecognized. Recognizing women’s achievements and celebrating their leadership is not only deserved, but is also necessary to reach the goal of protecting our communities, landscapes and wildlife from the impacts of climate change.

In 1962, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring” and brought the environmental movement into the mainstream. Donella Meadows’ book, “Limits to Growth,” highlighted the consequence of interactions between the Earth and human systems and significantly influenced government policy and academia.

Here in Maine, Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, has done much to protect our environment through her work as a state senator from Knox County and now as a member of Maine’s congressional delegation. As a state senator, Pingree helped pass the Land for Maine’s Future program, which protects critical Maine habitats for conservation, recreation, farming and fishing. In Congress, Pingree has been an advocate for climate action and our natural resource-based economy.

Today, climate champions such as Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, are leading the effort for the Clean Power Plan. Keeping the health of the American people, wildlife and the environment in mind, McCarthy is charging forward with limits on carbon pollution from power plants. The EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan would cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent, which in turn would prevent 150,000 asthma attacks and prevent 3,300 heart attacks.

I urge all members of Maine’s congressional delegation to follow McCarthy’s leadership and support the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Liz Hays

Mount Vernon

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