Rockland rally combats climate change

Groups draw line in sand to support Clean Power Plan
By Daniel Dunkle | Jul 30, 2015
Photo by: Daniel Dunkle Beth Ahearn of Maine Conservation Alliance, center, rallies support for climate change legislation July 30 on Sandy Beach in Rockland.

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.

Courier Publications News Director Daniel Dunkle can be reached at or 594-4401 ext. 122.

Activists hold signs on Sandy Beach in Rockland. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
(Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
John Grondin of Rockland, left, and Ron Huber hold up a sign opposing plans for a natural-gas-fired power plant in Rockland. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Todd Martin of the Natural Resources Council of Maine speaks July 30 at Sandy Beach in Rockland. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Those attending a rally on climate change July 30 in Rockland form a line in the sand. (Photo by: Daniel Dunkle)
Comments (2)
Posted by: Amy Files | Jul 31, 2015 10:40

The "Don't Gas Our Bay" sign was representing Friends of Penobscot Bay, not Renew Rockland. And as a clarification/addition to who the group is -- though Renew Rockland is not in favor of a natural gas power plant, or any new fossil fuel infrastructure -- the group came together sparked by this issue facing our town in order to explore solutions that would grow Rockland's economy sustainably, providing jobs and energy solutions while also protecting our air and water. Our mission statement is this: To promote sustainable economic growth and a healthy community by educating on the importance of protecting our natural resources, encouraging construction of green infrastructure, renewable technology and energy efficiency, and ending our dependence on fossil fuels without delay.

Initiatives we are working on:

1) starting a Rockland solar energy sharing program where
neighbors can purchase energy from neighbors

2) developing community programs to encourage efficiency
and reduce consumption in fun and cooperative ways

3) lobbying local & state government to invest in renewables
and end ratepayer-funding for fossil fuel projects

4) educating local government and residents on how we
can use renewables to meet our energy needs, reduce costs,
reduce pollution, and shift dependence away from fossil fuels

If you are interested in getting involved, visit our Facebook page:

Thank you!

Posted by: Nicole Jeanette Boutin | Jul 31, 2015 08:05

Slow news day?

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