Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

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Jon Reisman
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Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

The watermelon caucus growled this week, and Baldacci and the press grovelled. DEP Commissioner Gallagher is history, Rep. Tom Saviello is to be removed from Natural Resources, and Rep. Bob Daigle will likely be neutered. The Governor stated that special interest groups will not determine environmental policy, but no one asked him if that included the NRCM and fellow travellers (it doesn't). I wonder if Mills, Emery and/or Woodcock will have anything to say.

[url=http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/articles/2005/12/22/dep_chief_dep... rule[/url]

Bob Stone
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Here is the NRCM board...

a common thread runs through it.

[url]http://www.maineenvironment.org/nrcmboard.asp[/url]

Naran
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What I wonder is what part our rep. Bob Daigle might have played. I sure hope he doesn't get hung out to dry on this one. :(

Naran
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[b]NRC charges abuse of power; Agency: Lawmakers tried to shape DEP[/b]
Wednesday, December 21, 2005 - Bangor Daily News

One of Maine's leading environmental advocacy groups is accusing two state lawmakers of abusing their political positions to influence staffing and enforcement decisions within the Department of Environmental Protection.

The two targeted lawmakers, Wilton independent Rep. Thomas Saviello and Robert Daigle, a Republican of Arundel, fiercely denied any wrongdoing and countered that the leaders of the Natural Resources Council of Maine are trying to silence the voices of knowledgeable legislators with whom they disagree.

In a stinging report released Tuesday, the Natural Resources Council said it has discovered evidence in DEP documents suggesting that Saviello and Daigle attempted to influence the restructuring of two pollution-control programs as well as staffing in the department.

[url=http://www.bangornews.com/news/templates/?a=125568&z=5%20class=]Story[/url]

Jon Reisman
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Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

Bob Daigle and Tom Saviello have been effective advocates for an environmental policy based on sound science, market capitalism and facts as opposed to religion, socialism and fear. That's why the watermelon caucus has targeted them. If the GOP lets this assassination go unprotested and unremarked upon, we can expect more of the same.

I hope our gubernatorial hopefuls will stand up to this.

Dan Billings
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Daigle and Saviello were doing their jobs. When did it become a crime for a legislator to talk to a Commissioner about how the department should be organized?

Jon Reisman
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Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

[quote="Dan Billings"] When did it become a crime for a legislator to talk to a Commissioner about how the department should be organized?[/quote]

When the watermelon caucus has a different plan and when the Governor and his Party are obedient vassals.

Dan Billings
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I'm with you on this one, Professor.

But I can't say Gallagher was the brightest light in state government.

Jon Reisman
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[quote="Dan Billings"]

But I can't say Gallagher was the brightest light in state government.[/quote]

I had my differences with Commissioner Gallagher- starting with testifying against her confirmation- but she tried to be fair and reasonably accessable.

Dan Billings
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[quote="Jon Reisman"]- but she tried to be fair and reasonably accessable.[/quote]

I agree with that, but she didn't have the skills to manage a big department, IMO.

Anonymous
Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

[quote="Jon Reisman"]Bob Daigle and Tom Saviello have been effective advocates for an environmental policy [b]based on sound science, market capitalism and facts [/b]as opposed to religion, socialism and fear. That's why the watermelon caucus has targeted them. [/quote]

"sound science, market capitalism and facts" That in itself will put them, or anyone for that matter, at odd with the baldacci/hastings crowd of radical left wing appeasers.[/b]

Brent Dickey
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I've heard some postive comments about David Littell, methinks DEP staff will generally be pleased with the change.

Dan Billings
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[quote="BobCeleste"]"sound science, market capitalism and facts" That in itself will put them, or anyone for that matter, at odd with the baldacci/hastings crowd of radical left wing appeasers.[/b][/quote]

You got Baldacci all wrong. He plays footsies with the greenies on symbolic issues, but on the nuts and bolts of enviromental regulation, he is in the pocket of industry.

mediadog
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Interesting makeup of the NRCM board: It includes, among others, three attorneys, two physicians, two arts and antique dealers, an assistant professor of economics and a member of a family that has gained wealth by selling two locally-owned TV stations to an out-of-state media monster. Most might be fairly described as environmental dilettantes.

If these are the types of people who are driving environmental legislation in Maine, it would seem that the future of the state's forest-based industries -- and everyone who works for them -- is in real peril.

FXSTC
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[quote="Dan Billings"]
You got Baldacci all wrong. He plays footsies with the greenies on symbolic issues, but on the nuts and bolts of enviromental regulation, he is in the pocket of industry.[/quote]

That hasn't been my experience. Can you give some examples?

Dan Billings
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Environmental Left Barks, Baldacci Obeys

[quote="FXSTC"]That hasn't been my experience. Can you give some examples?[/quote]

The whole Androscoggin River issue is the best example. The administration sided with the paper companies and against the environmentalists.

Jon Reisman
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[quote="Dan Billings"][quote="FXSTC"]That hasn't been my experience. Can you give some examples?[/quote]

The whole Androscoggin River issue is the best example. The administration sided with the paper companies and against the environmentalists.[/quote]

On the other hand, energy and climate change policy is right out of the Nagusky/watermelon playbook.

Dan Billings
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[quote="Jon Reisman"]On the other hand, energy and climate change policy is right out of the Nagusky/watermelon playbook.[/quote]

Sure, but those issues are mainly symbolic. I know they potentially could have a big impact and be very costly but, so far, that has not been the case and I am skeptical that when push comes to shove there will be much done there. I think those efforts are mainly an attempt to throw a bone to the left while allowing the people who help fund Baldacci's campaigns to get their way on the nuts and bolts of environmental regulations.

deadbeat
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Commissioner Gallagher is gone because she improperly negotiated an agreement with the paper companies for their Water Quality permit. In addition to negotiating the agreement out of the public view, she improperly offered to deep-six a hazardous waste violation notice in return for the paper companies approval of the agreement on the water quality permit. Then she lied about it. She deserves to go.

David Hughes
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Now if she was actually going from a government paycheck I might actually agree whole heartedly instead of just agree she had to go.

FXSTC
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[quote="Dan Billings"]
Sure, but those issues are mainly symbolic. I know they potentially could have a big impact and be very costly but, so far, that has not been the case and I am skeptical that when push comes to shove there will be much done there. I think those efforts are mainly an attempt to throw a bone to the left while allowing the people who help fund Baldacci's campaigns to get their way on the nuts and bolts of environmental regulations.[/quote]

Let's see where symbolic legislation goes:

---You can't buy a new diesel powered car in Maine
---MTBE was fun!
---The DEP will introduce the new statewide emissions testing this spring
---We have wonderful new gas cans that don't work
---New cars cost only "a few hundred dollars" more because of CA emissions
---You pay twice to dispose of your tires

These are examples from a single aspect of our tiny economy, there are many more that slowly bleed us to death.

Dan Billings
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[quote="FXSTC"]
These are examples from a single aspect of our tiny economy, there are many more that slowly bleed us to death.[/quote]

But the things that you list don't hit big business do they? On the nuts and bolts of enviromental regulation, Baldacci is in the pocket of industry.

Also, most of things that you list above are the result of decisions made long before Baldacci was Governo and/or attempts to meet federal mandates.

FXSTC
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You're right Dan, the items I listed don't hit big business, they hurt the people. The decisions made by the DEP influence industry and individuals.

I believe your observations are focused on the paper industry, and again you're correct, this state was a mess before Baldacci, he hasn't made it much worse. Maine is the most stringent state that I've ever worked in when it comes to environmental regulations, and I guess they just choose to enforce it in the areas that I'm involved in.

If Baldacci was "in the pocket of industry" we would see at least one manufacturer move to Maine during his regime. The opposite has occurred, and environmental regulation is part of the problem. Paper and forest products have high visibility here, he's smart enough to not screw with an industry that's already circling the drain.

Bob MacGregor
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[quote="FXSTC"]

If Baldacci was "in the pocket of industry" we would see at least one manufacturer move to Maine during his regime. The opposite has occurred, and environmental regulation is part of the problem. Paper and forest products have high visibility here, he's smart enough to not screw with an industry that's already circling the drain.[/quote]

We have actually seen manufacturers move to Maine, two that come to mind immediately are New England Wire Products in Kingfield, and the relocation of Walpole Woodworker's vinyl fence operation to Pittsfield this year.

FXSTC
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[quote]Walpole Woodworkers, Inc., employing 50[/quote]

Small companies are great news and we need them. I was referring to real manufacturers, like GE, P&W, etc.

Roger Ek
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Mediadog says:
"If these are the types of people who are driving environmental legislation in Maine, it would seem that the future of the state's forest-based industries -- and everyone who works for them -- is in real peril."

That's why every single paper company in Maine has sold their timberlands. With our legislature changing land laws and timber harvesting laws as often as they change their shorts nobody is assured that the crop of timber they raise can be harvested when it's time.

Dan Billings
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[quote="Roger Ek"]That's why every single paper company in Maine has sold their timberlands.[/quote]

No, they have done it because they are doing it everywhere. It is a Wall Street decision to focus investment in making paper, not growing trees.

The lands sold for good prices, primarily to companies focused on such investments.

This is an industry wide change.

Editor
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pressherald.mainetoday.com Gr

pressherald.mainetoday.com
Green greatness: Group to mark 50 years of protecting environment
The Natural Resources Council of Maine has 12,000 members, a long list of accomplishments and, yes, a few political opponents.

By JOHN RICHARDSON, Staff Writer June 24, 2009

NRCM...was formed as a collaboration of several other groups, including Maine Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, the Garden Club Federation and the Pine Tree Rifle/Pistol Society...

The organization now has 24 employees and eight lobbyists...

[I]t has lobbied for bills to fight climate change, and has opposed rezoning land around Moosehead Lake for homes and resorts.

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/story.php?id=264155&ac=PHnws

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