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Marking the milestone anniversary of the Clean Air Act

Sen. Angus King joined Maine climate experts to speak at a webinar marking the 50th anniversary of the landmark environmental legislation.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Half a century ago, landmark environmental legislation was enacted with the passage of the Clean Air Act.

Former Maine U.S. Senator Edmund Muskie played a key role in rallying bipartisan support for the Clean Air Act and later so did former Senator George Mitchell, for its amendments in 1990.

To mark the milestone anniversary, the Natural Resources Council of Maine held a webinar on Zoom with Maine climate experts and Senator Angus King who said there were concerns in Maine that it would shut down the paper industry.

But he said the benefits have outweighed the costs.

He said the argument at the time was, "'Do we have to give up payrolls if we're going to going to save the fish and the clean air and the environment?'" 

"Of course we know that was proven not to be the case," the Senator said.

Sen. King said there's more work to be done to combat climate change.

He explained Maine is one of 20 states that have signed on to a lawsuit to stop recent efforts by the Trump administration to roll back restrictions on methane emissions from oil and gas development.

"The industry didn't ask for this. Nobody can really understand why they did it. It's not a very expensive proposition and yet the impact on the environment will really be substantial," said Senator King.