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Executive Director of the Maine Labor Climate Council Francis Eanes, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the council’s role in the energy transition in Maine. Eanes also discussed what it’s like to organize an industry in its infancy and the importance of working with already established industries to make offshore wind a welcomed addition in Maine.

The Maine Labor Climate Council is made up of 20 labor unions and labor councils. They are tasked with ensuring a successful transition plan from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. The council is seen as an opportunity for organized labor to lead the charge, ensuring quality, skilled union jobs create the future of energy and benefit all the workers involved. They are not here to convince anyone about climate change, but to ensure organized labor is part of the new alternative energy industry, Eanes added.

Organizing a developing industry has been a difficult task for the council, Eanes said. Not only is the council dealing with the politics of the projects, but also many objections from unions in industries that may be disrupted. He pointed to the fishing industry as one example. The council is working together with the fishing industry to ensure the offshore wind projects will be placed away from prime fishing grounds, ensuring both industries have no disruptions. 

The climate council has also worked to ensure there will be a need for offshore wind energy. Early calculations have shown that at scale the wind farms could power all of Maine’s power grid, with a minimum of powering at least half of the state. Eanes believes if this transition is handled correctly, Maine could become the leader in renewable wind energy in America.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, EyeMed Vision Care, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Auto Workers, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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