The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Maine

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This fact sheet contains a correction.

Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.

In 2018, Maine experienced one winter storm. The damages of the event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather

  • In January 2018, a nor’easter struck much of the Northeast, including Maine, leading to a total of $1.1 billion in damages across the states.*
  • By 2050, Maine is projected to see a 70 percent increase in its index of the severity of widespread drought.
  • In Maine, more than 130,000 people live in areas at an elevated risk of inland flooding.
  • Maine’s sea level has risen by 8 inches since 1950, and forecasts project that by 2033, the sea level will have risen another 6 inches. Maine is preparing to spend $100 million on solutions for sea level rise.

Temperature

  • Maine currently experiences approximately 10 days per year when heat exceeds dangerous levels, but projections indicate that number will quadruple to 40 such days per year by 2050. This endangers the lives of the more than 30,000 people in Maine who are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies

Climate

  • In March 2020, the Trump administration announced its final rule to overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. These weakened fuel standards will lead to higher greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions and will cost Maine residents $131 million
  • The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because Maine’s economy relies heavily on its agriculture, tourism, and outdoor recreation industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • Agriculture: According to a 2015 report, agriculture, commercial fishing, forestry, and related businesses had an economic impact of nearly $14 billion and supplied 79,011 jobs in the state.
    • Tourism: In 2018, tourism expenditures in Maine were greater than $6 billion and supported more than 110,000 jobs, or 1 of every 6 jobs in the state.
    • Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in Maine generates 76,000 direct jobs and more than $8 billion in consumer spending.

Water quality

To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit OurEnvironment.org.

* Correction, May 11, 2020: This fact sheet has been updated to reflect the correct date of the 2018 nor’easter in Maine.