Mills Administration Announces Maine Climate Council Membership

The Maine Climate Council, tasked with helping Maine confront climate change, is set to meet for the first time next Thursday, during Climate Action Week

The Mills Administration today announced the membership of the Maine Climate Council. The Climate Council, which was proposed by Governor Mills in April and passed with bi-partisan and overwhelming support in the legislature, is charged with establishing strategies and initiatives to help the state meet its greenhouse gas reductions and renewable energy generation targets as it works to combat climate change, and to make sure our communities, industries and people are resilient to the changes our state is facing.

The Climate Council consists of several department commissioners, key state leaders, science and technical experts, business and non-profit leaders, municipal leaders, a tribal representative, and a representative of Maine youth. It is co-chaired by Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future, and Jerry Reid, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection.

“Governor Mills has made tackling climate change one of her top priorities and, from ushering in renewable energy to establishing the Climate Council, she’s already taken significant action,” said Hannah Pingree, Co-Chair of the Maine Climate Council. “The future of Maine’s communities, our state’s economy, and the lives and health of our citizens depends on us stepping up to confront the challenge of climate change. I look forward to leading Maine’s Climate Council as we work to meet our emission reduction targets, create new clean energy jobs, and improve the resilience of our communities. The evolving science on climate is daunting, but the future world we leave to our children depends on our actions.”

“Maine has unique challenges when it comes to addressing the problems caused by climate change, but with those challenges comes unique opportunities,” said Jerry Reid, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and Co-Chair of the Maine Climate Council. “The Climate Council will bring together knowledgeable people with different perspectives to develop responsible strategies tailored to the needs of our citizens, our environment, and our economy. I look forward to beginning this important work.”

The Climate Council is scheduled to meet for the first time on Thursday, September 26, 2019 – during Climate Action Week. More details will be released next week on the timing and location of the meeting.

The Climate Council will also convene several working groups from within its membership – including a Scientific and Technical Subcommittee, a Transportation Working Group, a Coastal and Marine Working Group, a Natural and Working Lands Group, and others – to focus on how the state can tackle challenges within these specific areas. In addition to recommending new policy and innovative strategies to reach these emission and energy goals, the Council will update the Maine State Climate Plan every four years, and will solicit input from the public and report out progress on its goals every two years to the people of Maine. The first Climate Action Plan is due to be submitted to the legislature by December 1, 2020.

Under Governor Mills’ leadership, Maine has set statutory goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 percent by 2030 and at least 80 percent by 2050. She has also signed legislation to increase Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 80 percent by 2030 and set a goal of 100 percent by 2050.

The membership of the Maine Climate Council is as follows:

Members of the State Legislature:

  • Representative Lydia Blume (D)
  • Representative Richard Campbell (R)
  • Senator Everett Brownie Carson (D)
  • Senator David Woodsome (R)

Members of the Executive Branch, or their designees:

  • Amanda Beal, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry
  • Dan Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Energy Office
  • Judy Camuso, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Major General Doug Farnham, Commissioner of the Department of Defense, Veterans and Emergency Management
  • Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner of the Department Administrative and Financial Services
  • Laura Fortman, Commissioner of the Department of Labor
  • Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Patrick Keliher, Commissioner of the Department of Marine Resources
  • Pender Makin, Commissioner of the Department of Education
  • Bruce Van Note, Commissioner of the Department of Transportation
  • Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future
  • Jerry Reid, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection
  • Nirav Shah, Director of the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Members of Quasi-Government Agencies:

  • Dan Brennan, Executive Director of the Maine State Housing Authority
  • Michael Stoddard, Executive Director of Efficiency Maine Trust

Members Representing Environmental Nonprofit Organizations or Foundations:

  • Alexander Buck, President, Horizon Foundation
  • Kate Dempsey, Maine State Director for The Nature Conservancy

Members with Expertise in Climate Change Science:

  • Ivan Fernandez, Distinguished Professor at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute & School of Forest Resources
  • Andrew Pershing, Chief Scientific Officer, Gulf of Maine Research Institute

Members with Expertise in Resilience, Climate Change Adaptation, Emergency Management, or Disaster Risk Reduction:

  • Judy East, Executive Director of the Washington County Council of Governments
  • Kristina Ford, Selectwoman for Town of Boothbay

Other Members:

  • Lori Parham, Maine State Director for AARP
  • Jessie Perkins, Executive Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce

  • Expert on State’s Energy Sector: Ken Colburn, energy and climate expert

  • Representative of Manufacturing Industry: Benedict Cracolici, Energy Manager for Sappi North America
  • Representative of Maine’s Tribes: Maulian Dana, Ambassador, Penobscot Nation
  • Representative of Municipal Government: Steven C. Golieb, town Councilor for the Town of Millinocket
  • Representative of Small Business: Daniel Kleban, Owner of Maine Beer Company
  • Representative of Agriculture: Melissa Law, Owner of Bumbleroot Organic Farm in Windham
  • Representative of Building and Construction Trades: Matt Marks, Executive Director of the Associated General Contractors of Maine
  • Representative of Marine Fisheries: Patrice McCarron, Executive Director of Maine Lobsterman’s Association
  • Representative of Business: Jeff Saucier, Environmental Control for McCain’s Foods
  • Representative of Labor: Matt Schlobohm, Executive Director of the Maine AFL-CIO
  • Representative of Forest Industry: Patrick Strauch, Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council
  • Representative of Maine Youth: Ania Wright, Student at the College of the Atlantic