Letter to the Editor: Maine Supreme Court decision and thoughts on process

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In light of the recent Maine Supreme Court decision regarding the unconstitutionality of the referendum on the NECEC, I have a few comments about this entire process.

The MPUC is comprised of 3 people in appointed positions and none of whom have any educational or practical work experience in the natural resource use/conservation sector. These 3 people ‘represent’ the Maine people on decisions such as the NECEC? I might remind anyone who reads this that the “Say No to NECEC” PAC has nearly 10,000 citizens, take no corporate money, and have hundreds of people, if not more, who have advanced university degrees and decades of practical experience in the natural resource use/management sector and adamantly disagree with moving forward with the NECEC. Three people for and thousands against? How could this possibly be a balance and accurate representation for Maine?

Maine enjoys a rather positive reputation across the US for its natural beauty, hard-working people, and practical approach to solving problems. However, a darker side of Maine is reflected in its politics where heavy corporate lobbying and more than a few questionable examples of individuals with perceived or outright conflicts of interest exists. How can we ignore facts such as the Governor’s brother, Peter, on the BoD of an NGO created by CMP (Western Mountains & Rivers Corporation); Sean Mahoney is the Executive Vice President and Director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Maine Advocacy Center, and his brother, R. Scott Mahoney, is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for AVANGRID [link]; and former governor Baldacci on the BoD of Avangrid making $200K/year [link]? These are just a few examples among many. The influence of a few ‘players’ counterbalances the collective will of the people by a whopping margin.

The opponents present fact upon fact regarding the long-term effects that will happen because of the NECEC and the proponents continually state that ‘this is a good deal for Maine.’ Most of the benefits are steeped in suggestion; disguised as more benefit than reality demonstrates; and have not been supported by anything that resembles scientific methodology. The driving force behind this project is money, pure and simple. And this money comes from huge foreign interests in Canada and Spain. Maine’s reputation, built through decades of hard work and moral backbone will be toppled by a few people and a few bucks directed to critical pressure points. PACs have been created to spread propaganda and the people who run these PACS disgust me because they take money to intentionally bend and disguise the truth from the public. I don’t blame the Supreme Court, they did the job they were supposed to do. ‘Well, The law is the law” (emphasis on sarcastic line from “The Point”). I blame a few greedy people for where we are now in this continuing and sordid saga of ‘good v evil’. If this project indeed does go through Maine will never again be what it was and is. We will simply drop out of the ranks of places to visit because we were different, ethical, and morally attached to our natural wonders.

Richard Aishton

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