The column by Kimberly Lindlof, president and CEO of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, promoting $1.5 billion to $3 billion natural gas expansion (“Maine solutions lie in low-cost energy,” March 27) is a classic example of socialism for the rich, where government is used to provide a river of money from the population to the wealthy. As always, big benefits are predicted, a few jobs are hoped for, and dire consequences predicted.

Who are the real beneficiaries? The CEOs of Spectra Energy (Texas), Northeast Utilities (Connecticut holding company), fuel brokers, attorneys, consultants, and pipe construction companies, and large commercial and industrial operations — all of which invest in legislators and the chambers of commerce.

Who is going to pay for it? You, the electricity ratepayers. Spectra estimates Maine might save $60 million annually, not $250 million, through lower rates, which would be wiped out by the fee added to your bill to pay for the expansion. Once again, the many will be forced to help the few become more wealthy. If the industrialists and their Republican cheerleaders truly believe in the “free market” then let them pay for it.

If we are going to spend over $1.5 billion, instead of burning more carbon fuel let’s be wiser and invest in reducing consumption. We could employ thousands of people to make homes more efficient, install LED lighting and efficient appliances, and install thousands of home battery modules that store alternative energy production and then contribute excess back into the grid. If we reduce consumption by one-third expansion will not be needed.

It is foolish to add more carbon emissions just so we can make some industrialists wealthier. This is the rigged economy that Bernie Sanders talks about. Socialism for the rich at the expense of the not-so-rich. This is what will happen if Maine voters prove they don’t care by not contacting their legislators.

Brad Sherwood


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