Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today highlighted $990,000 in federal funding she secured for the University of Maine’s Climate Science Information Exchange in the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations Bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. One of ten community projects funded through Pingree’s appropriations requests, the Maine Climate Science Information Exchange (formerly the Maine Climate Coordination Center) will serve as a coordination hub to share climate science research and build relationships to support the implementation of Maine’s Climate Action Plan.
“The Mills administration has made extraordinary progress to implement its bold blueprint for climate action and tackle the climate crisis with support from the congressional delegation. As a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’m thrilled to have secured nearly $1 million for UMaine’s Climate Science Information Exchange. With this hub, Maine’s Climate Action Plan will come to life and put Maine closer to achieving our collective goal towards a sustainable and habitable future,” said Pingree, Chair of the House Appropriations Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.
“Climate change threatens our health, our communities, our economy and our future. That is why Maine is working hard to bolster the resiliency of our communities, to create clean energy jobs, to build a clean energy economy, and to support Maine families’ transition away from expensive, harmful fossil fuels to homegrown, renewable energy,” said Governor Mills.
“The University of Maine, which now ranks among the country’s leading research institutions, is a vital partner in helping understand and address climate change in Maine. Thanks to Congresswoman Pingree’s advocacy, these Federal resources will allow UMaine to develop a hub for Maine climate science, which supports the success of our Climate Plan and will help preserve and protect this place we all call home.”
“New and relevant climate science is emerging rapidly, and UMaine researchers are at the leading edge of information that is relevant locally, nationally and globally,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine and University of Maine at Machias and University of Maine System vice chancellor for research and innovation.
“Working with partners to bring that knowledge to bear on Maine’s climate challenges is central to our mission, and this new office will serve as an important facilitator of science-informed action. We’re especially grateful to Congresswoman Pingree for her vital support of this important project that furthers the implementation of Maine’s Climate Action plan.”
Maine’s four-year Climate Action Plan “Maine Won’t Wait,” which was released in December 2020, is a landmark roadmap to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect Maine’s people and environment. Following the release of “Maine Won’t Wait," UMaine began working with state partners to develop plans for a coordinating office on climate science in response to the identified need for this work in the Climate Action Plan. The focus of this work will be identifying the science and ongoing research that intersects with the needs of the eight strategies of the Climate Action Plan and its implementation. Of particular emphasis will be research around the natural resource sectors of Maine’s economy, namely forests and forest products, agriculture and food systems, marine ecosystems and coastal communities, and the environment.
In 2021, the House Appropriations Committee revitalized Community Project Funding after the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress found that congressionally-directed spending boosted bipartisanship, facilitated member-to-member cooperation, and gave members an equal stake in the success of appropriations bills.
Each member is permitted to submit ten projects for consideration which all must be thoroughly vetted and publicly disclosed on their website. All ten of Pingree’s projects were funded in the final appropriations bill, bringing millions of federal dollars to Maine.Pingree has been a member of the House Appropriations Committee since 2013 and has served as Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies since January 2021.