February 23, 2024

While looking at an old copy of the Paine News from Bangor, Maine from 1971, I came across this opinion piece about Humble Oil’s mineral explorations in the state. People were upset about the potential damage to the environment, and various organizations voiced their concerns. Paul W. Zimmer spoke on behalf of Humble Oil, calling for approval without the “long drawn out hysterical public hearings.” That pointed use of the word “hysterical”. Discredit the process. Discredit the detractors. It’s been a staple of corporate greed machines since time immemorial.

Over 50 years later, we have another billion-dollar corporation profiting from activities that were harming the environment and playing that discreditation card. In this case, it’s the desire to continue spreading toxic PFAS laden biosolids onto Maine farmland. John W. Casella, in his recent op-ed, tried to discredit Casella’s detractors by labeling them as “people who have no practical ability to run a landfill. He insinuated legislators as clueless and gullible by lamenting, “Sadly, there are legislators¬†who believe them.” An eerie echo of what the city of Bangor tried to do at Monday’s meeting when they presented a biosolids disposal presentation fit for a grade school science class.

When will these corporations learn that Mainers can see through the smoke and mirrors?

The rallying cry in 1971 still rings true today.

“Do we bow to the corporate giants’ will, or do we take a stand?” “We must make a decision very soon. Let us hope that it is the right one, for our very lives depend on it.”

The Maine Legislature stood up for Mainers and made that decision. And it was the right one. Our lives depended on it.