Letter to the editor: Strange bedfellows

3 mins read

What those Russians backing Vladimir Putin hope to pull off isn’t that dissimilar to what those Americans who backed Bush as he expanded conflict in the Middle East hoped to accomplish. Sure there are those who believe they supported an attempt to solve a social problem that led to conflict, but most knew that was the excuse they’d use to justify conquest. We’ve all heard of the spoils of war.

And speaking of spoils, I wonder if anyone out there believes the vote to stop the New England Clean Energy Connect would have turned out as it did if the argument against it hadn’t been largely financial. I know, we all remember questions concerning the environmental impact it would have, but along with those we remember hearing how New Hampshire and Vermont were offered more and about the profit electric generators operating in New England would lose. And, we know those arguments inspired voters who weren’t concerned with environmental impact.

Successful movements bring together strange bedfellows. Those state senators who initiated the challenge actually began their effort to block the NECEC by citing the results of a study fossil fuels interest paid for. I’m not even sure I should call it a study really because it merely said Hydro-Quebec could decide to divert power from Ontario and New York and force them to use fossil fuels to generate power if it wanted to. It was one of those boorish hypotheticals that is offered when one can’t actually produce evidence.

The real question is why did those state senators ask Calpine Corporation for the study in the first place? That is assuming they read it in its entirety to ensure they weren’t promoting yet another argument produced by fossil fuels interests aimed at misleading the public. Considering they used that document to challenge findings the Maine Public Utilities Commission acquired from reputable sources without a vested interest in the outcome you have to admit it was a strange choice.

That’s politics for you. As I said last week our elected officials often circumvent the system by bringing arguments produced by private industry into the mix even after the public officials we pay to vet them first have rejected them. That’s because there’s no longer space between our politicians and business. They essentially work together to undermine those government institutions that get in their way now.

Jamie Beaulieu

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