Posted on July 19, 2019
Maine enacts state-level Green New Deal law to address climate crisis
If the federal government is incapable or unwilling to seriously tackle the climate crisis, lawmakers at the state level are ready to step up to take on the fight.
In June, one of the first-ever state-level Green New Deal bills was signed into law in Maine.
Introduced by progressive lawmaker and environmental activist Rep. Chloe Maxmin, who was endorsed in 2018 by CREDO-ally Sunrise Movement, Maine’s Green New Deal legislation originally included a requirement that the state reach 80% renewable energy by 2040. The final law signed by the governor did not include that goal but focused more broadly on green energy workforce development and clean energy projects. Rep. Maxim’s Green New Deal bill is the first in the nation to receive the endorsement of organized labor, who mostly criticize Green New Deal plans at the federal level.
Two other bills to promote clean energy were also recently signed by Gov. Janet Mills. L.D. 1494 mandates updates to the state’s renewable portfolio standards, doubling the requirement for clean energy sold in the state to 80% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Another bill, L.D. 1711, would expand solar power to more Mainers by expanding the arbitrary cap on customers who can obtain power from community solar farms.
Maine is among a few trailblazing states who are taking action on more local Green New Deal plans while Donald Trump and Republicans continue to deny the climate crisis. The New York Assembly recently passed an aggressive Green New Deal–style bill that expands solar and wind energy and would put the state on the path to 100% renewables by 2040. Other states, including New Mexico, Oregon, California, Hawaii, New Jersey and Colorado, passed bills in the last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy.
As states continue to take steps to combat climate change, the federal government must step up and take action. Click here to urge Congress to support the Green New Deal resolution by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey.
Additionally, if you’d like to let us know which parts of the Green New Deal are important to you, let us know, and we’ll share your feedback with key decision makers in Congress.