Letter: Energy petition gets warm response in Cumberland

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My wife Sally and I spent the morning of Election Day at the polls in Cumberland gathering signatures for a citizen’s initiative to increase the proportion of Maine’s energy use derived from renewable sources – such as solar, hydro power, and wind – to 20 percent by the year 2020.

This initiative is supported by a range of clean energy and environmental groups united under the banner of Maine Citizens for Clean Energy. We happened to get involved because Sally had worked on this issue last year as part of a project supported by Opportunity Maine. Opportunity Maine, a creative nonprofit forever coming up with good ideas, was one of the original supporters of this initiative.

If sufficient signatures are collected (the target is 70,000) by Jan. 30, 2012, this initiative will be placed on the ballot as a referendum question in November 2012.

We found lots of support for the Clean Energy initiative in the early group at the Cumberland polls. In the first three hours we collected more than 100 signatures – pretty decent for a low-turnout election.

It was also nice to see many friends and neighbors from the town stop by to say hello and catch up. Polling day is one of those times that brings people together with a positive purpose. Often we simply go in, vote, and quickly leave, but last week we had the occasion to stay on – and for a good cause.

Ron Bancroft
Cumberland

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