Letter to the Editor: Canada is a trustworthy, reliable, and friendly neighbor

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Around one-quarter of Mainers are of French-Canadian descent, the largest concentration of any state in the union. In addition, Canada is Maine’s largest trading partner. So when some people started to hyperventilate when a French-Canadian company like Hydro-Québec asked to do even more business with Maine, I just rolled my eyes. Canada is a trustworthy, reliable, and friendly neighbor.

The deal Hydro-Québec has struck to deliver clean, renewable hydropower to Maine and New England via the Clean Energy Corridor is a huge win for our workers, our ratepayers, and our environment.

The Clean Energy Corridor will create 1,600 good-paying jobs, at least 80% of which will go to Mainers. Around 360 Mainers are already hard at work on the project in Somerset County, earning an average wage of $38 per hour plus benefits.

The Clean Energy Corridor will deliver enough renewable energy to power 70,000 Maine homes at a discounted rate, resulting in $140 million in direct rate relief for Mainers and another $350 million in relief over the next 15 years through lower wholesale energy costs throughout the region. The poorest Mainers will receive an additional $50 million in rate relief.

Two-thirds of the corridor will run along existing transmission lines. The other 53 miles will run through an area where commercial logging has occurred for over a hundred years. There will be no clearcutting of Maine’s untouched forest and no destruction of public lands.

The people of Maine should support the Clean Energy Corridor and ignore the noisy histrionics of those who oppose it.

Henry W. Jackson

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