In the June 21 Maine Compass piece “Wilderness Can Help Save Us,” Jon Leibowitz clearly outlines the value of “preserving and rewilding” natural habitats as a path to a more sustainable future. Leibowitz focuses on the 550-acre Howland Research Forest as the focal point for studying trees as agents for carbon sequestration. Studies completed at this forest reveal that there is “perhaps no more effective or cost-efficient way to mitigate the effects of human-caused climate change than to allow forests to grow old, wild and remain undisturbed.”

As I was reading this piece, I was reminded of why I oppose Central Maine Power’s proposed New England Clean Energy Connect. Saying that the proposed CMP 145-mile, high-voltage transmission line is a way to combat climate change is an egregious example of green washing.

About 53 miles of the transmission line route would run through undeveloped forests in the North Woods, just the very habitats that Leibowitz and Howland site manager John Lee recommend allowing to grow old as a way to combat climate change. The NECEC project would replace these valuable Maine trees with 100-foot transmission towers that would be visible from many beloved Maine vantage points.

From studying CMP’s proposal, I see that CMP proposes clearing more vegetation and potentially increasing development within existing corridors. Such activities would disrupt the very ecosystems the Howland study recommends that we protect today to save our planet from “the dual threat of climate chaos and extinction catastrophe.”

The proposed New England Clean Energy Connect is bad for the environment and the people of Maine.

 

Linda Woods

Waterville

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