It’s easy to get aggravated these days. From Donald Trump to CMP, I find it easy to get irritated.

CMP has already launched TV ads to convince us that their disastrous project ripping through western Maine is a good thing. I was astonished by their first TV ad, which was misleading. For one thing, the benefits the company is touting are minor, and certainly not worth the destruction of western Maine.

Equally troubling is all the rollbacks in our environmental protections done by the Trump administration. A few weeks ago, Dana Wilde wrote a column about some of these rollbacks.

I really can’t say why Trump is such an enthusiast for coal. He’s doing all he can to bring coal back as one of our country’s primary sources of energy. But we’ve already moved on, so let’s hope we don’t move back.

Here in Maine we value and appreciate our beautiful state, from our clean waters to our beautiful forests and gorgeous coastline. But many of Trump’s environmental rollbacks are going to harmfully impact our state, starting with their withdrawal from the Paris climate accord and their refusal to acknowledge that our climate is changing.

We all know that Maine’s warming oceans have significantly harmed our commercial fishing industry and everything from shrimp and crabs to kelp, plus raised the levels of our tides. Trump revoked higher vehicle fuel-efficiency standards and even refused to allow California to address climate change by setting higher auto emissions standards.

Dana reported that in November, 11,258 scientists from 153 countries issued a report stating that the earth “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency.” How can we ignore that?

The Trump administration repealed rules expanding the waters protected by the Clean Water Act of 1972. And recently they reversed a 25-year-old policy restricting the removal of sand from protected ecosystems.

While the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coastal and Marine Economies Protection Act, prohibiting the Interior Department from allowing oil exploration in the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf, including off the coast of Maine, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has buried the bill, refusing to allow a vote on it.

You probably know that I love Alaska, so I’m deeply troubled that Trump plans to cut the trees in half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest temperate rain forest in North America.

Since being diagnosed with ALS, I’ve been educated about the ridiculously high costs of medications. It’s horrible that some folks with diabetes can’t afford the insulin that is necessary for them to live. A recent column by the Rev. Sara Ewing-Merrill reported that her church is buying insulin for a member who can’t afford it. The cost of insulin has skyrocketed, doubling between 2012 and 2016. Shame on those drug companies. And the congressional Republicans who refuse to do anything about it.

And here’s something else that’s aggravating. I have recently received two letters from Melania Trump praising her husband and asking me to donate to the Republican National Committee. On the outside of the first envelope it said, “Check Enclosed.” And of course, there was no check in the envelope. How do these people get away with things like this?

Well, I don’t want to ruin your day, so set aside these aggravations and think about all the good things in your life, including this wonderful state we live in.

I do want to thank Dana Wilde for alerting us to a lot of these environmental problems. It’s going to be a raucous year nationally, with the impeachment and election. But this does give us a chance to right some of these wrongs. Hold on!

George Smith can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.

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