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Maine Group Urges End to Investing in Fossil Fuels

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AUGUSTA, Maine - Representatives from Maine universities, cities and towns, and churches, as well as public employees, gathered today to encourage Maine's private citizens, public and private organizations and businesses to divest from fossil fuels.

The event at the State House in Augusta was one of what Karen Marysdaughter, of the Maine Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, says are around 400 events around the world today and tomorrow.

Marysdaughter said fossil fuels degrade the environment and make people sick. And they don't economically benefit Maine, which doesn't have a fossil fuel industry, but does have an ample supply of renewable resources
  
"Maine has abundant solar, wind, tidal, geothermal and biofuel potential," Marysdaughter said. "A transition to a clean energy economy will provide local, steady jobs that Mainers can feel good about. Renewable energy is the fastest-growing segment of the energy market; now is an ideal time to invest in a sustainable energy economy for Maine."

The University of Maine system last month was the first public land grant institution or university system to divest from all direct holdings in coal companies. Several other schools, as well as the city of Waterville, have also divested.

A.J. Higgins contributed reporting to this story.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.