I’d like to thank the CleanEnergyMatters ads for clarifying the grand scale of their proposed NECEC line through Maine, explaining that it will go alongside existing energy corridors for about two-thirds of its route. They even drew it on the map for me, showing what looks like a corridor from Lewiston. up along Route 4 and 27 past Sugarloaf, to the Canadian border.

I know this route is inaccurate, but it does enable me to envision what we’re considering. It’ll be analogous to a new I-95, wider than that highway is where it crosses Western Avenue in Augusta, running up through Maine alongside the scenic Route 4/27 corridor from Lewiston/Auburn, through Farmington and past Sugarloaf. And there won’t be any messy interchanges, because this new superhighway will be exclusively for traffic from Quebec headed to Massachusetts.

Maybe we’ll be lucky and they’ll clear-cut it as efficiently as I-95 has been cleared through Augusta, undoubtedly intended to help visitors from New Jersey feel right at home, with the sweeping vistas of the big-box stores and no ugly trees obstructing the view.

Transmission Developers Inc. has offered a fully permitted, fully supported, fully underground and viable, shovel-ready solution that would carry the same amount of power through Vermont in an underground cable. But apparently Central Maine Power — our local tiny cog in the giant Spanish Iberdrola empire — has calculated it’s cheaper to trash Maine than let them construct a less-destructive route elsewhere.

We’ll get some modest short-term payouts, in exchange for a permanent scar across the landscape, slicing through what for now remains the largest continuous U.S. forest block east of the Mississippi River.

Of course we won’t consider the trashing of Indigenous communities and the Canadian environment that Hydro-Quebec has effected in the name of “clean energy.”

 

Robert Nelson

Clinton


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