After serving eight years in the Legislature as a state representative from Scarborough, many people know I spent a lot of my time voting “no!”

No, I am not running for office; I have nothing to gain by writing this article. And even if I were a candidate, I have a longstanding policy of not accepting direct donations from lobbyists.

That being said, I feel compelled to speak out in favor of the CMP Corridor Project.

After years of trying to bring hydropower to Maine, I am pleased that we finally have the opportunity to agree on a project that many on both the left and the right can support. While it was initiated by former Gov. Paul LePage, it was Gov. Janet Mills who signed the current agreement; The New England Clean Energy Connect is a transmission line that allows Central Maine Power (CMP) to connect New England states to affordable, plentiful, hydropower from Canada.

Here’s what I like about this project:

• Taxpayers are not on the hook.

• This is an existing renewable resource with a proven track record.

• The project will pump millions of property tax dollars back into local communities.

• The project creates great jobs.

• The project will replace oil, coal and other fossil fuels and reduce significant amounts of carbon being pumped into the air.

• The project must meet dozens of legal regulatory hoops in a well laid out process that is transparent and allows for input from all parties.

• More jobs, more local tax dollars, less pollution, and a fair and legal process.  This is a clear win/win for Maine.

“So, what’s the problem?” Greed.  Preserving existing monopolies and an unhealthy secretive alliance with corporations, elected officials, and shady non-profits.  The Left calls them “Crony Capitalists” and the Right calls them “The Swamp”; they are both correct.

That’s why this shady and secretive alliance between fossil fuel interests and the Natural Resource Council of Maine is so desperate to “Let the voters decide.”  They will lie to us in a campaign with millions spent on slick advertising.

Did you know there is no law requiring that political advertising be truthful?  That’s why proponents are so desperate to avoid any path that requires any oversight.  If one lies to the Public Utilities Commission, the DEP, or other regulatory agencies, one can get into trouble, but the penalty for lying to voters is  – zip, zero, nada.  Of course, that is why Big Oil, Big Gas, Big Wind, and Big Solar all prefer a referendum question that goes straight to unsuspecting voters.

That is not all. With few scruples and setting a dangerous new precedent, they are also willing to let unwitting voters do their dirty work by negating a legal, binding contract.

Remember, always follow the money. How much are we talking about?  Large energy plants consume vast amounts of oil and gas; it is estimated the gas and oil companies will lose millions of dollars every day.  And the heavily subsidized wind and solar industries know they can’t compete with clean, cheap, reliable hydropower.

It is time to get this project up and running. Maine has over 4,000 miles of existing transmission lines, and this new line will add 53 more miles of line ON LAND THAT CMP ALREADY OWNS.

As Mainers, we are facing an uncertain economic future, with job losses, business closings, and budget deficits at both the state and local level.  This is not the time to turn our backs on an investment to update Maine’s inadequate and aging infrastructure. Maine’s future businesses need a reliable source of affordable energy.  And Maine people will benefit from a clean energy source that is so plentiful that it will supply not only Maine, but all of New England.

Let’s allow our public utilities to do their jobs and safely “Open a Clean Corridor.” Maine’s rigorous regulatory process requires everyone to play by the same rules, and that is the way this and all similar projects should move forward.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.