Clearing the air with a Maine original

At Fishbowl forum, native Maine author tells how U.S. Sen. George Mitchell crafted Clear Air Act

As U.S. Senate Majority Leader, U.S. Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine) overcame daunting obstacles to enact the most important environmental law of the global warming era: The Clean Air Act, which now stands as the foundation for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

Douglas Rooks, who recently published “Statesman: A Thorough Examination of the Life of One of Maine’s Best Known Senators, George Mitchell,” will present some history on the law, and of Mitchell, at the next installment in the Fishbowl colloquium series at Unity College.

The program — “George Mitchell and the Clean Air Act of 1990” — is 11 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, Oct. 25, on campus in Parsons Wing Room 204 of the Student Activities Center.

Rooks is a career journalist who worked at weekly and daily newspapers for 25 years. He was the editor of the Granite State News in Wolfeboro, N.H., editorial page editor for the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, Maine, and editor and publisher of Maine Times.

“The Unity College Fishbowl series is designed to convene timely and constructive conversation,” Unity College President Dr. Melik Peter Khoury said. “Mr. Rooks will offer an instructive and encouraging look at a Maine original who overcame exceptional obstacles and worked with disparate, sometimes opposing groups to enact a landmark environmental law.”

Since the turn of the century, Rooks has been a freelance editor, writer and author, covering Maine state government, and specializing in environmental issues, public education, municipal affairs, and tax policy. A graduate of Colby College, Rooks is a former board president of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Augusta. “Statesman: A Thorough Examination of the Life of One of Maine’s Best Known Senators, George Mitchell,” is his first book.

Fishbowl is a stimulating colloquium series, open to the public, where Unity College faculty and invited outside speakers discuss ideas on pedagogy and present their scholarly work at America’s Environmental College. From Maine ant hills to international policy, the series will bring audiences on compelling global environmental journeys this Fall.

Friday, October 14, 2016