Gov. Mills' support for Nordic project flies in face of vaunted climate rhetoric

Mon, 06/13/2022 - 11:00am

On June 17, Governor Mills and White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy will headline a climate conference organized by the Maine Climate Council. 

But it will take more than speeches to solve the climate crisis. It will require standing up to big polluters, and that's where Governor Mills' words belie her actual policies.

Nowhere is this more evident than in Belfast, where Nordic Aquafarms wants to build a $500 million industrial fish farm, a carbon train wreck that Mills supports.

Nordic would destroy 56 acres of carbon-sequestering woods and wetlands. It would dig up and truck off 14,000 truckloads of carbon-sequestering earth. Nordic would use enormous amounts of electricity, much of it from carbon-intensive diesel generators. It would discharge 7.7 million gallons of warm effluent per day into the Gulf of Maine, the fastest-warming marine waters in the world. Nordic's industrial infrastructure would be Maine's biggest, bigger than Bath Iron Works, in dollar terms, and as big as Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium combined.

That's an enormous amount of concrete, and concrete manufacturing is extremely carbon-intensive. 

Nordic has refused to discuss the content of its fishmeal, but the aquaculture industry standard is heavy on soy, most of which is laced with herbicides, which are their own carbon train wreck.

Any way you slice it, the Nordic Aquafarms project is a climate disaster, and Governor Mills' support for the Nordic project flies directly in the face of her vaunted climate rhetoric.

Lawrence Reichard lives in Belfast