AUGUSTA — A bipartisan group of Maine lawmakers shared the limelight Thursday as Maine Conservation Voters released its annual scorecard on legislative voting records Thursday.

Maureen Drouin, MCV’s executive director, said the last lawmaking session produced “mixed results” for Maine’s environment.

MCV is a nonpartisan organization that works to make the protection of Maine’s environment a political priority, Drouin said.

Lawmakers in attendance Thursday had championed important bills or achieved perfect or near perfect voting records based on the MCV standards.

Drouin said MCV wanted to ” . . . recognize those legislators, from both sides of the aisle, who showed the political courage needed to protect our air, land, water and the health of our families.”

Those attending Thursday’s event included state Sen. Anne Haskell, D-Cumberland; and state Reps. Justin McCabe, D-Skowhegan; Don Marean, R-Hollis; Gay Grant, D-Hallowell; Corey Wilson, R-Augusta, and Russell Black, R-Wilton.


MCV was recognizing Black, a member of the Legislature’s Natural Resources Committee, for his efforts to protect the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in 2013 and for his work to protect Maine streams from mechanized gold dredging.

“We have an awesome state, we have many tremendous natural resources that we live in, work in and play in,” Black said. “We need to protect them, we need to respect them and we need to be good stewards of those natural resources that we have been given.”

Black also received a pro-environment vote on five of the seven bills ranked by the MCV.

“My goal when I came here as a legislator was to make sure I left Maine a better place than it was when I came into it in the 1940s era and I think that we’ve done that,” Marean said.

“In the last couple of decades, we have made huge strides in cleaning up our rivers and our beaches and getting our forests to a place where they are the best they have been in the past 100 years. Any legislation that comes forward that is good for our environment is good for us and is good for Maine.”

McCabe said the scorecard showed that many of the state’s elected officials, regardless of their political affiliation, took to heart protecting the state’s natural resources.


“The beauty of Maine’s natural treasure is obvious to anyone who is lucky enough to live, work or visit our great state,” McCabe said. He said the state’s economy and the livelihoods of many depended on the state’s natural resources being conserved and protected.

“All of these things are a part of the Maine brand, this is a great brand, one that is known throughout the world,” McCabe said. 

Haskell, who was recognized for her efforts to ban lead sinkers from Maine waters in an effort to protect the state’s loons, said she was like most Mainers: somebody who recreates in the outdoors.

“I want to have folks realize that people all across the state of Maine are true conservationists. We all care about this state,” Haskell said. 

Wilson, one of two first-term lawmakers at the event, said many of the environmental issues that come to light in the Legislature are things some people have never thought about before. 

“But for me, this is something that didn’t take any thinking,” Wilson said. “I grew up hunting and fishing and really enjoying the outdoors and everything that Maine offers. I love the state of Maine and one of the greatest things we have here is our environment.”


Wilson said he spent “countless days” enjoying Maine’s outdoors “and had some of the best times of my life . .

“Regardless of whether you are a Republican or a Democrat in the state of Maine, we all believe that protecting the environment as we move forward is extremely important,” Wilson said.

The MCV also recognized the efforts of Grant and the other first-term lawmakers who worked on a bill that required greater notice of the use of bisphenol-a or BPA —  a chemical in plastics that’s deemed a toxin —  when it is used in food packaging.

While the bill passed the Legislature, it was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers were unable to override the veto.

Grant said she worked to sort the “science from the science fiction” when it came to legislation on the environment and citizen health and safety.

“As a legislator and a mom, I consider it my duty to hear the concerns of parents and grandparents about such issues as toxic chemicals in our food and consumer products,” Grant said. “Information is power and in our democracy the power should abide with the people. We have a right to know and a right to protect our children and ourselves.”

Grant said MCV brought key nonpartisan, scientific data to the environmental debate in Maine and she appreciated their efforts.

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