Some environmental advocates oppose the creation of a Maine Space Corporation
Encouraging the development of a space industry in Maine would be bad for the state's environment and do little to help its economy, according to opponents of a bill that proposes a public-private partnership to assist nascent rocket companies.
The measure, LD 1923, would offer technical assistance and attempt to put state government behind a bid to find a suitable rocket launching site.
Opponents, including former Independent U.S. Senate Candidate Lisa Savage of Solon, say the bill, and the idea of Maine as a rocket launch site, are bad ideas.
Savage says rocketry has proven to be harmful to the environment. "Rocket launches in other places have been very hard on wildlife, killed lots of birds," she said.
And Savage adds rocket launches, "always add to climate crisis by putting exhaust into the atmosphere. Rockets that go up high enough, punch holes in the ozone layer, which was just beginning to get repaired."
Savage says she doubts a space industry would generate many jobs, and it could hurt Maine's brand as a vacation haven where "you go to enjoy pristine waters and good air quality and beautiful wildlife."
The bill has also drawn a cool response from blu Shift Aerospace, a Brunswick-based company developing rockets that use a solid, bio-derived fuel.
blu Shift Chief Executive Sascha Deri has said his company is already looking for a launch site on its own and would rather the state not duplicate his efforts.
Savage says she's also unhappy with the way the Maine Space Corporation legislation is moving through the legislature. She says there was inadequate notice of a public hearing on the bill and the committee voted to recommend its passage contingent on two amendments that have yet to be written.