July 06, 2018
CAMDEN, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) shared his experiences as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence with Maine people in Camden. During an event at the Camden Opera House, Senator King discussed his work on the Intelligence Committee and how it impacts the lives of Maine people, his experience investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 election, shared his thoughts on the role of Congressional oversight in intelligence matters, and participated in a Q&A session with the audience. The event was sponsored by the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations.
“Serving on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is some of the most important work I’ve ever done, and it’s incredibly important to the safety and security of Maine people,” Senator King said. “The Russian government’s efforts during the 2016 elections were a sophisticated, thorough attack on our democratic principles at the most fundamental level – and they’re just getting started. Our Committee has been working on a bipartisan basis to uncover the full extent of Russian interference, and while our investigation is still ongoing, one thing is certainly clear: the best defense against future foreign involvement in our elections is an educated and informed citizenry, who can identify misinformation attempts. Today’s conversation is just one step we can take together to protect ourselves against future interference.”
Earlier in the day, Senator King visited the Belfast Farmer’s Market and met with vendors and customers, and met with leaders of the Maine Farmland Trust, an organization focused on protecting farmland to help farmers and rural communities grow and succeed. Senator King has been a strong advocate for Maine farmers, and last month, the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill with a number of King-backed provisions to support Maine agriculture, including a modernization of the formula used by USDA to support Cooperative Extension programs and funding to help educate and train beginning farmers and ranchers. The differences between the Senate bill and the version passed by the House are currently being resolved in conference.
Senator King also toured the Georges River Energy’s Combined Heat and Power (CHP) project, which is currently under construction at Robbins Lumber. CHP is an energy technology platform that can support the forest economy, as well as create energy savings. Robbins Lumber, a fifth-generation family owned sawmill in Searsmont, was the site of a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Field Hearing hosted by Senator King in October of 2017 aimed at identifying ways that CHP and microgrid technology could help sustain and strengthen rural industries. This project comes after recommendations from the Economic Development Assessment Team, which was originally requested by Senators King and Susan Collins in March 2016 and emphasized the importance of developing markets for forest product residuals including low-value wood in CHP biomass plants, micro-grids, and modern thermal systems. A revitalized forest industry is also a key piece of Senator King’s economic vision to grow Maine’s rural communities.