In his recent letter to the editor, Thorn Dickinson tried to sell his new company, New England Clean Energy Connect Transmission, LLC as a friend to the people of Maine while attempting to frame opposition to this corridor as an attempt by the fossil fuel industry to keep market share in our state. I find this insulting and very dishonest.
I can tell you as one of many thousands of Maine citizens opposed to this destructive project that it has nothing to do with green energy versus fossil fuel. It has everything to do with whether or not 250 million in incentives and a small percentage of discounted power from the line is an adequate trade off for the billions Avangrid and Quebec Hydro will reap, while irreparably harming the environment, lifeblood, economy and brand of this prime trout fishing, snowmobiling and whitewater rafting region of our state.
For many of us, the answer is absolutely not.
In much the same way that New Hampshire didn’t want such an obnoxious power line project through their treasured wilderness, we don’t want it either. Vermont has a fully approved and permitted project that Massachusetts can use, so Maine doesn’t have to bear this burden.
Avangrid and Hydro Quebec are making every effort to steamroll this project through our state before Mainers can figure out what the true cost will be to us.
In addition to the 53.5 miles of new corridor, property owners along the entire route from the forks to Lewiston will be in for a shock to see what kind of hideous infrastructure they will be forced to live with into perpetuity. I have experienced this first hand as a property owner abutting CMP’s right of way during their “reliability upgrade” through Lewiston. Where there was previously an adequate buffer of trees between my home and the power lines, CMP cut a huge new swath to accommodate high voltage lines and I would ultimately have to live just feet away from towering rusty poles emitting their hum and EMF. It was bad enough I needed to move and take a loss on my property.
We shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that this is a binary choice between destroying a remote part of our state and cutting greenhouse gases. Massachusetts has mandated a renewable energy portfolio into law and they will make it happen come hell or high water. There were plenty of proposals on the table, many supporting local power generation. Hydro Quebec just has the luxury of undercutting the competition having the the limitless backing of a foreign government and abundant land of its own to displace people from and destroy for the sake of impounding water.
I think Mainers know that our wilderness serves a better purpose then to be an extension cord for the flow of profits between foreign entities.