The Central Maine Power transmission line will bring clean hydropower from Quebec. The power will mean Maine and our neighbors will be less dependent on older power plants that pollute more. New England is a shared market for electric power. Increasing the power supply in any part of New England benefits all of New England.

The project will help Maine’s economy. An opportunity exists to significantly upgrade fiber optic broadband capacity in western Maine. Better internet service will help attract businesses and tourists to the area.

The project will pump $1 billion into Maine’s economy over the next decade. In addition, another $140 million will be set aside to reduce electric bills for Maine ratepayers and $50 million more will reduce bills for low-income customers over the next 40 years. While we might have preferred to get those benefits sooner, this is still a good deal. Millions of dollars over 40 years is better than receiving nothing if the deal is rejected.

Finally, the project brings good-paying jobs — 3,500 jobs at the peak of construction. I have heard the criticism that the jobs are temporary. Isn’t that what all construction jobs are? Getting more construction jobs for three or four years is better than not getting any construction jobs.

This project is backed by both Gov. Janet Mills and and former Gov. Paul LePage. Politicians are giving bipartisan support. So should we.

 

Dan Bernier

Waterville

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

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