The 1,500 or so jobs coming from the proposed Central Maine Power corridor through the western Maine forest will not be only for Mainers. There is and has been an unorganized cadre of Canadian power line workers who travel around to these types of projects and hurricanes and other major electrical disruptions and take jobs away from locals.

They’re essentially independent contractors that sign contracts with either CMP or their prior employers for three to 10 times what they were making as Canadian linemen. I met about 20 of them when the New Brunswick corridor was being constructed. So don’t get fooled for the advertised 1,500 new Maine jobs; it’s just not true.

The people of the state of Maine have all of the leverage in this proposition, even if the governor has grabbed at the $250 million or so dollars. CMP has pimped us out to the Canadian power company for embarrassing little money over only 40 years.

If anyone wants a sample of how this corridor will look just travel from Farmingdale to Augusta through Hallowell on either side of the Kennebec River and you will see a dozen or so very ugly pylon-style power poles that are completely red to orange from rust, plus the two large towers on an island in the middle of the river. Transpose this ugliness to the north woods and see how obnoxious this view of Vacationland will be.

You can imagine 53 miles or more of this vision as tourist dollars don’t even make it to Maine. Vacationland? Not anymore. Our unemployment numbers will go through the roof.

 

Frederick Drew

West Gardiner

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