The trip to Maine will be George Bush’s seventh as president.
PORTLAND (AP) – President Bush plans to travel to Maine on Thursday to deliver an Earth Day speech about the environment.

Bush’s lunchtime appearance will be at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, a center for the study of local ecosystems.

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said the visit was welcome news for Maine.

“I’m thrilled that the president will have the opportunity to get to know the greater Wells community, so he better understands our plans and concerns . . .,” she said.

But environmentalists said an Earth Day appearance by Bush does not erase a record that they said has not been beneficial to the environment.

“My hope would be that the president would bring some good news about his administration’s intent to protect the environment for a change,” said Brownie Carson, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

The trip to Maine will be Bush’s seventh as president. Included among his earlier stops were visits to his family’s Walker’s Point compound in Kennebunkport.

Bush lost the state to former Vice President Al Gore in 2000 by 5 percent, a relatively close margin by national standards.

As a result, Maine is regarded as one of 18 battleground states in this year’s campaign.

AP-ES-04-17-04 1207EDT


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