Maine environmental, labor groups urge better partnership between state and tribes on climate
A coalition of a dozen Maine environmental and labor organizations is urging Gov. Janet Mills to improve collaboration with the Wabanaki Nations on green power projects.
In a letter to Mills, the groups say they fully support her goal of transitioning the state to 100% renewable energy by 2040, but want the administration to more fully collaborate with tribal representatives on the big developments that will be needed to achieve that goal.
The letter cites the lack of meaningful tribal representation on the Maine Offshore Wind Port Advisory group. And it notes the concerns that Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis and other tribal leaders have raised about the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which they say has not sufficiently consulted with them about offshore wind scoping and permitting.
The letter is signed by representatives of Maine's largest environmental groups, and the Maine AFL-CIO and other labor organizations.
The Mills administration says this is already a priority. In a statement, the Governor's Energy Office said "The Mills Administration is committed to working collaboratively with Maine’s tribal communities on offshore wind to ensure the economic and clean energy opportunities from the growing industry are accessible to tribal members and communities and that any potential negative effects on tribal communities from offshore wind are examined and avoided to the greatest extent possible."
And it noted that the office included a specific action in the Maine Offshore Wind Roadmap for studies to identify paleocultural resources in the Gulf of Maine.