I read a recent opinion letter authored by Jamie Beaulieu and picked up a can of Moxie and decided that I needed to respond to his letter. He seems to be caught up in the information morass produced by the CMP/HQ propaganda blender. I would also like to remind Mr. Beaulieu that, while his educational credentials are solid, there are many people who oppose this obscene profit-generating cash cow who have significantly more impressive educational backgrounds and work experience.
The soap opera mentioned by Mr. Beaulieu is produced, directed, and aired by CMP/HQ. The antagonists in this soap are simply reacting to the lies, misdirection, half-truths and corporate grease squeezed out on a daily basis.
I am disappointed that Mr. Beaulieu seems to have missed a few facts that are certainly relevant to this discussion. CMP has an approved right-of-way for 300 feet in width for the corridor from Quebec to Lewiston (and in some places 400 feet). However, they are applying only half of that to the NECEC. The other 150 feet will likely be used for wind towers and this is more than an educated guess.
As for legislators ….. no doubt some easily bend towards re-election. However, what does one make of the trip four legislators took to actually measure the width of the corridor IN SITU and found that the width substantially exceeded the contractual limit of 54 feet? For those math majors 104 feet > 54 feet. And the DEP response? They will disregard this violation for the time being.
The actual science relating to the NECEC is not ambiguous and while subject to political whims and lobbying, the facts don’t lie. (Only those trying to smother the science). Environmental costs for this project are and will be devastating and an EIS would end most arguments. However, no one has done an EIS like they did in New Hampshire and Vermont. And I would love to hear Mr. Beaulieu’s response to this fact.
Perhaps it is worth mentioning to the audience, including Mr. Beaulieu, that the publication “Blue Deserts” provides more than enough scientific research information about the HQ dam complexes and their influence. Methyl mercury and methane are only two of the serious problems with these dams. The huge impoundments (shallow lakes behind the dams) flood thousands of square miles of forested land. Further, regulating dam flow alters the ecosystems in the Gulf of Maine – you know, one of those “web of causality” things. And as for climate change – good idea to clear cut well over 1,000 acres (to start) for addressing climate change. In my experience working in boreal and northern temperate forests throughout the world, clear cutting a swath 53.5 miles long plus another smaller width for another 90 miles is the worst response to climate change that I could suggest. And CMP promises not to use herbicides …….. ;-)
Thousands of us in Maine understand the science from many different perspectives and all of the information points to significant ecosystem damage and the immediate impact is really only the tip of the “iceberg.” As for the science: 263 wetlands will be affected by the CMP’s scar and anyone who knows anything about wetlands understands that their important ecological functions can rarely be restored once they are “invaded.” Moreover, 115 streams will be crossed and already siltation has muddied many of the streams, eliminating native trout spawning grounds.
I became acquainted with Tom Eastler in 1977. My daughter babysat his children. Tom’s sad, untimely death took away what I am certain would have been another powerful voice against the corridor. I believe that Mr. Beaulieu has followed a pathway where he has decided what side he is on and then looks to science to support his view. That is NOT science, that is opinion.