Thursday, March 13, 2008



March 13, 2008 Cranberry Isles, ME


The Town of Cranberry Isles passed a series of articles at its annual Town Meeting this week to promote a groundbreaking environmental agenda, pledging to sign the Mayors Climate Protection Agreement; spend up to $10,000 to promote and support energy efficiency projects; and purchase electrical power for municipal needs from a renewable energy provider.

All 36 articles on the 2008 warrant were passed at the meeting at the Islesford Neighborhood House on Little Cranberry Island on March 10. Warrants covered regulations, budget and, the election of officers and committee members, including Dan Lief for a second three-year term as selectman.

Board of Selectmen Chairman Lief signed the national Mayors Agreement, establishing the Town as the 811th municipality and smallest participating community thus far. "This is a far-reaching commitment - we will do whatever we can to slow down global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Selectman Lief. "We will also work as a community to deal with hardships resulting from $100-a-barrel oil. Ultimately, the goal will be some degree of energy independence with on-island generation from renewable sources. In the short run, we are looking at much simpler solutions, ways in which we can all save money and reduce our negative impact on the environment - more efficient appliances, better insulation for our homes, use of clotheslines instead of dryers...the list goes on."

Joining the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, the Town aims to meet or beat the Kyoto Protocol emission reduction targets. The agreement has been signed by 810 municipalities nation-wide, representing over a quarter of the US population. The agreement states that the municipality will reduce global warming pollution to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Also stated in the agreement is a commitment to urge state and federal governments to enact programs and policies to meet or exceed these same targets. A third aspect of the agreement obligates the Town to urge the U.S. Congress to pass bi-partisan green house gas reduction including clear timetables and emissions limits as well as a flexible, market based system of tradable allowances among emitting industries.

A second unanimous vote authorized the Selectmen to spend up to $10,000 to promote and support community projects that reduce impact and increase environmental stewardship. One critical project, which will require some funding, is an alternate energy feasibility study, focusing on local renewable energy generation possibilities.

The third warrant allows the Town to spend up to $2,000 to source Clean Energy for all of its municipal electricity needs. This power will cost approximately 2 cents more per kilowatt hour than the current energy supplied. "The Town's decision to purchase energy from 'Maine Renewable Energy - Clean Power will, hopefully, set an example for residents purchasing power for their homes. For a small premium Mainers can buy electricity that is 100% renewable, 100% emission free - and 100% produced in Maine," emphasized Lief.

The Town of Cranberry Isles is a cluster of five islands that sit just southeast of Mount Desert Island, home to Acadia National Park. There are two year-round islands, Great Cranberry Island and Little Cranberry Island with its village of Islesford. The islands present breathtaking vistas of the mountains of Acadia from their shores. There are 130 year-round residents of the Town, with the population swelling to over 1,000 in the summer months.

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