Democratic Gov. Janet Mills told state lawmakers Friday that her proposal to create a 27-member climate change council will help the state reduce greenhouse gas emissions while transitioning the state to what she describes as a "low-carbon" economy.
Testifying before the Legislature's Natural Resources Committee, Mills says the council will come up with plans to slash emissions by 80 percent and generate 100 percent of the state’s power from renewable sources by 2050.
"Now, it's easy to set goals on paper, to pass laws that say we should do this, or we should do that," she says. "Implementing it is a whole other thing. That's what this climate council will be tasked with doing."
Mills says the council will also include a team of scientists that will find the best ways to execute the state's climate plan.
Some conservative groups, including the Maine Heritage Policy Center, have criticized the proposal for growing government and unfairly restricting Maine electricity sources. They also question whether the proposal can make a difference affecting climate change.