Most arguments, pro and con, on the proposed Central Maine Power transmission line issue address direct impacts in Maine. Little is said about overall economic impacts. But an unconditional transmission line permit will mostly reward interests that have made Maine less able to compete economically.

A few years ago, public and private Massachusetts groups blocked pipeline permits to ease constraints on natural gas supply to Maine from the south. Thus, Maine’s public and industrial consumers were denied the benefits of lower energy costs. Now the same Massachusetts interests want Maine to issue permits for an electrical pipe (i.e., transmission) line across Maine from Canada.

To protect the interests of all Maine consumers, the Public Utilities Commission should make any such permit conditional on Massachusetts first allowing permits to increase natural gas supplies to Maine. Fairness requires this reciprocity, and is essential to keep the Maine economy and jobs competitive.

 

Thomas W. Gillette

Jefferson


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