On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, Maine voters overwhelmingly rejected the CMP corridor with a 59%-41% victory on Yes on Question 1. The process to enact the law moves ahead with a 20-day period for Secretary of State Bellows to certify the election, followed by a 10-period for a signature from Governor Mills, then enactment after another 30 day-period into law around January 3, 2022.
Even those who did not support the Question 1 ballot measure (i.e. BDN and PPH) are now calling on CMP to stop construction of their for-profit corridor. Without missing a beat, CMP’s parent company, Avangrid – also owner of a number of gas companies, filed a lawsuit pushing back against the clear will of Maine voters. We expected that because once a bully, always a bully.
So, we are joining the effort to urge Mainers to call on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to suspend the permit to halt construction given this grave change in circumstance to the NECEC project. While Commissioner Loyzim set a hearing date of November 22nd to discuss this matter, it’s important that the DEP hear from Mainers to demand this action.
The grassroots effort has been robust throughout these last three years. Many of those concerned about the CMP corridor are asking what Mainers can do as a next step in this multi-year process. We are asking citizens to channel our intention together and put pressure on the DEP by making phone calls, sending emails, and attending the upcoming hearing.
At this time, there are still state and federal permit appeals, the DEP suspension hearing proceedings and NRCM’s new motion for a Stay of the DEP permit. The Black vs. Cutko public lands appeal and a number of municipal permits have not been finalized.
While CMP and its parent company continue a line of rhetoric on the inevitability of this project, it’s important for Mainers to know, the message sent on November 2nd was strong and we will not tolerate the arrogance of CMP. In the words of Representative Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth, “It is time for CMP to do right by this state and by their own customers. Stop construction immediately. To do otherwise is an affront to Maine people and our right to self-governance.” Thankfully, the people of Maine have allies in the Maine Legislature and we will rely on them to move forward with a clear and transparent process.