I wanted to write a letter explaining how New England energy generators misled Maine voters into rejecting a much needed clean energy project last November, but I find myself caught up in thoughts triggered as Russia seeks to consolidate power overseas. Of course, it’s out to remove what it considers a barrier to trade so the topic isn’t exactly unrelated.
Geopolitical barriers are established through force and influence. Ukraine would become a geopolitical barrier as Russia grew more extreme. When it separated Moscow was deploying troops in an effort to hold the Soviet Union together. Ukraine didn’t feel it should pay the price for Moscow’s failure to push the United States from the Middle East.
We inherited that position from the British who failed to keep it from Nazis who saw it could fuel a mechanized army they could dominate Europe with. The British controlled it before them, having out-maneuvered Russia in the 100-year “Great Game” through which the Ottoman, who controlled it before them, were slowly worn down.
When the British took control of the Middle East they made a few adjustments to solidify their control of the trade they knew created kings. Kuwait was an inconsequential district inside Iraq at the time. The British separated it to gain control of trade coming and going by sea. They then placed it in the hands of a sheik who understood he and Iraq’s king would retain power so long as they did as they were told.
That’s what the New England energy generators who spent $20 million to stop construction of the New England Clean Energy Connect want: control. They want to set the price of electricity in New England so will block every effort to move hydroelectricity generated in Quebec into our grid. They want Maine to be their geopolitical barrier.