In the article “Nestle: Maine tough state to do business” (July 16), Nestle CEO Kim Jeffery laments that Maine is making it difficult for Nestle to operate here, with several pieces of legislation “to tax us or limit our development as a company.” But as Rep. John Hinck pointed out, Nestle is exaggerating about the harm that such a small tax would impose on the company.

Maine taxpayers invest a lot to protect natural resources. Why shouldn’t Nestle as well?

The reality is that Nestle’s benefits to communities where it mines water are dubious, and community organizations throughout Maine have leveled resistance — and in many cases successfully rebuffed — its attempts to make a commodity out of a public resource.

There should be an even greater tax — one-cent per ounce — on all water-based beverages nationally to help fund the nation’s deteriorating water infrastructure. According to a recent poll we conducted with Lake Research Partners, 63 percent of voters surveyed said they favored the tax.

The bottled-beverage industry is a major user and abuser of the nation’s water. It’s time it did its part and cleaned up the water from which the industry profits.

Nisha Swinton, Portland

Organizer, Food and Water Watch

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