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Maine Currents 11/18/15

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Representatives from local chapters of and Citizens Climate Lobby spoke at the University of Maine last week about “Citizen Responses to Climate Change”. The panelists were Lyndy Rohman, cofounder of the Bangor chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby(CCL); Tim Godaire, a graduate student at UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and member of Citizens Climate Lobby; Glen Koehler, who also works with CCL in Bangor; and Hendrik Gideonse from 350 Bangor/350 Maine. They talked about what drew them to climate change activism and what each group is doing to address the issue.

WERU News Report 9/9/14

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: A trial will get underway Monday for 2 Mainers who were arrested for sitting on railroad tracks in an attempt to call attention to the dangers of transporting Bakken crude. Doug Bowen and Jessie Dowling, were charged with criminal trespass. Their supporters are planning a rally outside the courthouse and invite others to join them. Read Brugger is with 350Maine, a “a grassroots movement dedicated to solving the planetary climate crisis”:

Segment 2: Another event that’s connecting issues and activists in Maine and across the country in September is “Campaign Nonviolence”. In Bangor there will be an “End Violence Together” rally and march on Saturday, September 27th. Mary Ellen Quinn of Pax Christi is one of the organizers:

WERU News Report 10/30/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by John Greenman

We’ve reported extensively on the re-write of Maine’s mining laws that is presently underway, and also on the situation in El Salvador, where those who resist mining have been threatened, jailed and even killed. Here in Maine, one of the giant Canadian Irving Corporation’s spin off companies and their lawyers, authored the new mining legislation- that was originally introduced in 2012—consisting of their wish list of changes to Maine’s mining laws. The company wants new regulations that would allow metallic mineral mining on Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, and elsewhere. They have the support of the LePage administration.
Stefano Tijerina is a Professor of History and Economics at UMaine and Husson University, and has worked in banking in the past. He has researched mining and free trade agreements in the US, Canada and Latin America. In a recent talk at the university, he focused on Canada’s role, and how it impacts us here in Maine:

(Professor Stefano Tijerina, with a segment of his presentation last week at UMaine, titled “Canada’s ‘Goodwill’ Revised—Mining, Capitalism, and Imperialism”. The talk was sponsored by the university’s Marxist and Socialist Studies lecture series, and was recorded by WERU’s John Greenman.)

WERU News Report 10/29/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Audio recorded by John Greenman

Efforts are underway at the University of Maine, to become the 3rd Maine college–following Unity College and College of the Atlantic–in divesting from the fossil fuel industry. Churches, universities, cities and organizations around the world are taking part in the quickly expanding fossil fuel divestment movement. Here in Maine, in addition to Unity College and COA, the First Unitarian Church of Pittsfield, is also taking part.
The Fossil Free Campaign was started by According to their website, “200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves.” And their demands are that those companies: stop exploring for new hydrocarbons, stop lobbying for “special breaks”, and pledge to keep 80% of their current reserves underground forever.

Speakers include: UMaine alum Karen Marysdaughter, she’s with’s Maine chapter, and is working with students at the university; students Samantha Perez, President of the UMaine Green Team; Audrey Maddocks and Jonathan McCullem; and Misa Saros, former Campus Sustainability Coordinator at UMaine.

Related links:

WERU News Report 7/9/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: Just 8 days before the catastrophic train explosion in Quebec last weekend, several Mainers were arrested trying to block another train carrying fracked Bakken crude oil from crossing the state.
Barely a week after the arrests, a Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway train, headed for Maine carrying at least 2 million gallons of oil, derailed just 10 miles from the Maine border. The explosion killed a still-unknown number of people, and incinerated a large part of the town of Lac Megantic
At a press conference yesterday, held outside the headquarters of Montreal- Maine-Atlantic Railway, in Hermon, Maine, the arrestees explained why they did it, and expressed condolences to our neighbors in Canada

Segment 2: There have been several derailments on train tracks in Maine in recent years, several of which have involved PanAm rail, which runs alongside the Penobscot River. 4 PanAm rail tankers derailed near the Penobscot River in Veazie last week. In March of this year 13 of their 31,000 gallon crude oil tankers derailed near the Penobscot River in Mattawamkeag. The previous month, two boxcars on a Pan Am freight train also derailed near the Leeds-Wayne town line, and in March of 2012, 4 PanAm cars derailed, with two going into the river, near the Bucksport-Orrington town. Those rail cars carried clay slurry used in papermaking.
In March, we reported on a bill that was being introduced by Representative Richard Campbell of Orrington, that would initiated a study of the condition of PanAm rail lines. Many of the Transportation Committee members who attended the public hearing expressed shock when viewing photos of the condition of the PanAm tracks. The photos they were viewing are posted on the WERU facebook page, if you’d like to take a look while you listen to some of the discussion that took place in March

WERU News Report 1/22/13

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

While promoters of the LPG tank facility in Searsport have frequently presented themselves as being “pro-jobs”, some of them have actually engaged in organizing a boycott against Searsport businesses – details on that, as well as presentation of an independent, pro-bono assessment by Abbie McMillen, based on her years of business experience in the energy consulting field and serving on planning boards.

Peacetime segment: Bob Shaw of Waldo County chapter of , with information about the upcoming rally in opposition to tarsands, that will be held in Portland.

Mid-Coast Currents 1/18/13

Hosts: John Zavodny and Sara Trunzo

Program Topic: Higher Education Divestment from Fossil Fuels

Key Discussion Points:
1. What is endowment divestment from fossil fuels?
2. Why did Unity College divest?
3. How does the “Do the Math Tour” make change?

a. Dan Apfel, Executive Director, Responsible Endowments Coalition
b. Stephen Mulkey, President, Unity College
c. Bill McKibben, founder,

For More Information:

Call In Program: NO

Political Broadcast: NO

WERU News Report 8/22/12

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Topics: Locals Commission LPG Risk Assessment; Part 2 of Bill McKibben’s speech in Bar Harbor on 8/19/12

*Local groups Islesboro Islands Trust and Thanks But No Tank (TBNT) have commissioned Good Harbor Consulting, headed by Richard Clarke, counter-terrorism expert and advisor to three U.S. Presidents, to do an independent risk assessment of the massive LPG tank facility DCP Midstream wants to build in Searsport, but the Searsport Planning Board refuses to have the results of the assessment put on the agenda for their November meeting. We talk with Steve Hinchman, attorney for Islesboro Islands Trust and Thanks But No Tank

*Bill McKibben’s talk wraps up with ideas about taking action. (Audio recorded by Matt Murphy at College of the Atlantic, 8/19/12, 15th anniversary event for Sustainable Harvest International. Part 1 aired 8/21/12)