Senator George Mitchell's delivered the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, where he discussed the environmental issues confronting the planet and all its inhabitants.
In a long and distinguished career of public service, Senator Mitchell represented Maine in the U.S. Senate from 1980 to 1995. He led the successful 1990 reauthorization of the Clean Air Act and was the author of the first national oil spill prevention and cleanup law.
His accomplishments extend far beyond the environment and the U.S. Senate. He served first as Special Advisor to President Clinton on Ireland and later as the independent chairman of the Northern Ireland Peace Talks. The peace talks resulted in the Good Friday Agreement on April 10, 1998, which ended decades of conflict in Northern Ireland, between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, and among the countries of Great Britain.
Senator Mitchell is chairman emeritus of DLA Piper, one of the largest legal services firms in the world. He is also the founder of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute. Each year, the Portland-based institute awards scholarships to one graduating student from every public high school in Maine. More than one-third of Mitchell Scholars are first-generation college students.
This talk was recorded September 23, 2011 at USM in Portland.