Letter to the Editor: Mainers are not fools

3 mins read

“What do politicians want?” Indeed. The point of the political throwaway I got in the mail the other day was lost on me until I connected the missing dots. It was from “Mainers for Fair Laws”, which it turns out is another shill for Central Maine Power. CMP appears to be thrashing around to change their losing narrative about its hugely unpopular corridor project. Now their argument is not about green power or jobs, but rather a vague reference to a legislative power grab. Desperate to salvage their fading case, CMP is trying to throw sand in our eyes in the closing weeks before their project goes to referendum next month. With only 34% of Mainer’s supporting their project, no doubt the 11 th hour cannot feel very good for CMP.

Their first argument to fall was their claim of green energy. That didn’t even make it past the initial hearings. Unable to back up their claim with facts, CMP gave up its argument that their powerline would help with climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. But then there were all those promised jobs. As you can see from all those white Northern Clearing trucks, the jobs are largely going to workers from away. Northern Clearing is a Wisconsin company.

Unfortunately, these ‘facts’ are not the only deceptions we have experienced. It turns out their work in northern Somerset County has been in flagrant violation of their permit. What was supposed to be 54 feet of clearing turned out to be more than twice that in the most sensitive part of the entire project. What can CMP be trusted to do properly?

Opposition to the powerline is not, as a recent reader suggested, an arbitrary take down of CMP or the knee jerk rejection of a worthwhile corporate project. From day one CMP power and its Spanish parent corporate owners have sought to mislead and misrepresent, and on top of that have shown ignorance or indifference to the rules that are supposed to govern their work. In every way they have violated the public trust, from the design of this project to its implementation. In like manner they are blowing smoke at us by now alleging legislative overreach as the reason Judge Murphy shut down their work. The laws in question are on the books to protect us from just this kind of corporate dishonesty. Mainers are not fools. We are not likely to buy a pig in a poke. Maybe Avangrid thinks it can sell Mainers on this project and the Brooklyn bridge while they are at it, but a large majority of Mainers disagree, as we shall see next month. I, like many, am going to vote YES to reject this project.

Steve Bien

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