Jul 31, 2015

NRCM hosts Clean Power Plan rally in Rockland. Critics pan Plan's call for expanding natural gas consumption.


On July 30th Natural Resources Council of Maine visited Rockland Maine's Sandy Beach  and held a public rally in support of the new Federal Clean Power Plan put forward by US EPA. (Links to media coverage below) 

While the plan is ambitious in calling for each state  to achieve nearly full renewable power generation by 2022, it also calls for an increase in natural gas consumption BEFORE transitioning to solar and other renewables.
Check out:
Rockland Gathering Calls For Climate Change Action BDN

Rockland Rally combats climate change Courier Gazette  

Dozens gather to support Clean Power Plan  WABI-TV                

The question for Penobscot Bay: how long will that transition be? 

For if natural gas pipelines are installed along the Route 1 corridor,  then sprawl will follow with all its ecological discontents, and lobsters and others seafood species and  their prey and habitat living along west Penobscot Bay  bay and bay coasts living things will decline. 

Friends of Penobscot Bay took part in the event.  Concerned about the above, we brought a banner that stated simply: DON'T GAS THE BAY, and told the press before and after the meeting  of our concern that the clean power plan was being coopted by Big Gas 

FOPB's  concern is that  this transition/delay in  going renewable as national policy could continue until the frack fields and ocean  gas leases run dry!

Happily the Plan's language appears to give each state wide latitude in reaching its individual goal of carbon pollution reduction. Unhappily all signs point to gassing the bay being the preferred alternative Senator Angus King and the Governor Lepage - If NRCM, CLF and other Bigfoot Enviros take the no-new-gas-pipelines position, blocking this inappprriate energy tech from being emplaced will be a gfreat deal easier.efforts to gasify West Penobscot Bay  
  Read and watch the below media coverages at  Sandy Beach 7/30/15  by BDN, Courier and WABI-TV.  Excerpts we're mentioned in are there before each full article.  Our "Don't Gas the Bay" banner shown in Courier and WABI

Bangor Daily News
Excerpt: "Participating in the rally were members of a group called Renew Rockland, which opposes the proposed natural gas-fired power plant that is being considered for Rockland. Member Amy Files said natural gas plants such as this displace renewable power projects."
Full article
Rockland Gathering Calls For Climate Change Action by Stephen Betts
ROCKLAND, Maine — With Rockland Harbor and the Maine Lobster Festival as backdrops, a group of environmental activists turned out Thursday to voice support for federal regulation of carbon emissions.
About 70 people were at Sandy Beach in Rockland for the rally. The event was timed to precede the expected announcement next week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of what the federal agency has called a Clean Power Plan.
“This is the first ever regulation of carbon pollution in the United States,” said Beth Ahearn, policy director of the Maine Conservation Alliance.
Richard Nelson, a commercial fisherman from Friendship and a member of Maine’s Ocean Acidification Commission, also called for more aggressive federal action on climate change.
The speakers noted that the release of carbon into the atmosphere not only warms the air but the oceans. Ahearn said that 2014 was the hottest year on record and 2015 is expected to exceed that record.
Richard Nelson, Friendship, Maine lobsterman. BDN photo
Nelson said that a warming ocean will have a negative effect on the lobster industry. He said warming waters off Long Island have led to a sharp decline in the lobster catch there as the crustaceans head for cooler waters. He said if the ocean continues to warm, the same will happen to Maine.
Ahearn said that the proposed federal regulations will require states to reduce carbon pollution by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. This is aimed at power plants that are the greatest source of carbon emissions, she said.
Maine is well positioned to meet those goals, she said, by its participation in the regional greenhouse gas reduction initiative.
The speakers urged citizens to contact their U.S. senators to support the measure.
Todd Martin, the grassroots outreach coordinator for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said that the regulations will go into effect unless Congress votes to block them.
Participating in the rally were members of a group called Renew Rockland, which opposes the proposed natural gas-fired power plant that is being considered for Rockland. Member Amy Files said natural gas plants such as this displace renewable power projects.
END
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Courier Gazette 
Excerpt: "Members of Rockland's own environmental movement, Renew Rockland, held a sign that said, "Don't Gas The Bay." Ron Huber of the Friends of Penobscot Bay and Renew Rockland said the group is concerned about plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in Rockland, arguing natural gas brings sprawl and run-off that hurts the bay and the lobster industry. He said some argue natural gas is a transition fuel, cleaner than coal plants, but he said some fear the transition will only be complete when all of the gas is gone."

Full article
By Dan Dunkle
ROCKLAND — A group of concerned citizens, including speakers from the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Maine Conservation Alliance, gathered on Sandy Beach in Rockland's South End July 30 to combat climate change.
They waved signs calling for action on climate change, chanted slogans and formed a line in the sand to show the need for action on the issue. Members of the groups argued the warming of our planet caused by carbon emissions from power plants threatens not only our ocean environment, but our health.  

Beth Ahearn of the Maine Conservation Alliance said climate change is here and undeniable, and it is affecting the Gulf of Maine more quickly than other regions. The warming of the water is leading to acidification, increasing the threat to our lobster fishery.
The good news, she said, is that the federal Environmental Protection Agency is expected to soon release regulations on carbon pollution in the U.S. as part of the Clean Power Plan.
Todd Martin of the Natural Resources Council of Maine said residents need to send a message to Maine lawmakers, especially Sen. Susan Collins, to support this effort.
He spoke of the problem of childhood asthma in Maine and the increase in the number of days when the state experiences bad ozone caused by pollution coming in from other states, making it more difficult for residents with respiratory issues.
Members of Rockland's own environmental movement, Renew Rockland, held a sign that said, "Don't Gas The Bay." Ron Huber of the Friends of Penobscot Bay and Renew Rockland said the group is concerned about plans for a natural gas-fired power plant in Rockland, arguing natural gas brings sprawl and run-off that hurts the bay and the lobster industry. He said some argue natural gas is a transition fuel, cleaner than coal plants, but he said some fear the transition will only be complete when all of the gas is gone.
END
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WABI TV  John  Krinjak
Excerpt:  "Folks from another group, Friends of Penobscot Bay, were also on hand. They want the EPA to change the Clean Power Plan to include more restrictions on natural gas burning in Maine"
Full story 
Dozens of people joined together to take a stand against climate change in Rockland today.
The Maine Conservation Alliance hosted Beat the Heat Rally on Sandy Beach to celebrate the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
The initiative from President Obama goes into effect Monday.
It will require states including Maine to reduce carbon pollution by 2030.
Ralliers urged Maine’s senators to support the plan and take more action against climate change.
“Maine will only benefit by the carbon rule. This is historic. This is the first ever regulation of carbon pollution which greatly impacts our air and also our ocean,” said Beth Ahearn, program director at the Maine Conservation Alliance.
Folks from another group, Friends of Penobscot Bay, were also on hand.
They want the EPA to change the Clean Power Plan to include more restrictions on natural gas burning in Maine.
End 

"Analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration has suggested the Clean Power Plan would shift power generation to natural gas in the beginning years before moving states toward renewable energy later on."

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