We can’t let Gov. Paul LePage dismantle or downgrade programs and laws that protect our natural resources so that he can cash in on them to fulfill his half-baked ideas.

He doesn’t like Efficiency Maine, which is the program that should help with more efficient heating systems for low-income folks. Instead, he has finagled to keep Efficiency Maine defunded while submitting a law to appropriate the funds from increased timber harvesting on our public lands.

LePage shows no respect for the long stewardship of our forests by the Forest Service, or for the collaborative work done by Maine Farmland Trust, Land for Maine’s Future, Coastal Economic Enterprises, local land trusts and private donors. Their work sustains working farms and forests, working waterfronts, wildlife ecosystems and watershed areas. He seems not to care that Mainers hold these programs in high regard for conserving what makes our state beautiful and unique.

The Land for Maine’s Future Program has worked effectively for two decades. The governor now says he wants to “scrutinize and reform” the program. This is another example of his meddling with the integrity of an effective program or commission so he can have his own way.

LePage seems to relish power struggles, using unethical tactics, as he is doing now, withholding the bond funds for approved conservation projects to leverage his appropriation of natural resources on our public lands.

Let’s not let the governor dismantle good programs and laws that have been so effective in keeping Maine the place we cherish, the state where others want to come.

Susan Suchar


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