Letter to the Editor: Upper Enchanted Township landowners on NECEC

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Be it known that at the annual landowners meeting of the Upper Enchanted Owners Road Association (UEORA) on May 25, 2019, a quorum of members discussed the CMP NECEC 145-mile proposed transmission line corridor project. The UEORA is made up of 50 private landowners where they enjoy their recreational land and camps in the area just west of the Spencer Road at Mile 4 in Upper Enchanted Township.

The discussion touched upon many points including property values of our lots should the corridor be approved which we would expect to decline. Fragmenting this contiguous wilderness land mass would lessen the recreational value and negatively impact wildlife and fishing habitat. This is the last stronghold of naturally spawning wild brook trout and home to a high concentration of Maine’s specially designated Heritage Ponds where they have thrived for thousands of years without ever being stocked. We feel that the industrialization and removal of natural vegetative canopy will cause this spawning cycle to decline while also negatively impacting mammals, birds and insects which are crucial for this unique cycle to thrive here.

We also discussed the lack of benefits to Maine ratepayers since Maine produces more energy than it uses. The project mostly benefits Central Maine Power / Avangrid / Iberdrola, a Spanish based company by way of staggering revenue while the company struggles dismally to take care of its primary customer – the Maine ratepayer. It was noted that this has been falsely reported to reduce greenhouse gasses, and that this has been flatly refuted by the Natural Resources Council of Maine and even the Massachusetts attorney general. Countless statements on this subject have been filed as sworn testimony and legal briefs with The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Utilities, Maine DEP, LUPC, and PUC as even the US Army Corps of engineers. The NECEC project would blaze a path from the international border where there is clearly an effective natural rugged mountainous border now. Reliance on a foreign country for something as important as electricity seems foolish and short sighted when we can sustain our own within our borders. Massachusetts chooses not to, and it is unacceptable to us to tarnish their neighbors to the north to satisfy a renewable standard they have established for themselves. NECEC would necessarily squelch any smaller renewable energy providers that are working to provide authentic renewable energy.

Maine’s brand is this kind of wilderness and there are few places like this place even in Maine. There is no admission fee or a booth like you may see in a state or national park or even the North Maine Woods, Inc – a collection of large corporations that own masses of land. Anyone can come here and experience the best of Maine. The members of the UEORA voted 23-0 against CMP’s NECEC project.

Kaleb Jacob, President
Upper Enchanted Owners Road Association

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