Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) on Thursday encouraged people to look on the bright side of global warming.

At the 64rd annual Maine Transportation Conference, the governor bucked the thinking of many Republicans and admitted that the planet was getting warmer, but he said that people were thinking about it the wrong way.

"Everybody looks at the negative effects of global warming, but with the ice melting, the Northern Passage has opened up," LePage explained, according to the Bangor Daily News. “So maybe, instead of being at the end of the pipeline, we’re now at the beginning of a new pipeline.”

The Northern Sea Route, which was called the Northeast Passage until this century, is a shipping lane connecting Asia to the U.S. East Coast. The route is over 4,000 miles shorter than the traditional passage through the Suez Canal, but it has traditionally only been open two months out of the year because of sea ice.

However, the warming climate allowed commercial vessels to begin using the route in 2009. And by 2011, 18 ships had made the crossing, according to The New York Times.

The Voice of Russia reported in 2011 that 85 percent of the ships crossing the Northern Sea Route were carrying gas or oil.

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