It was tough to hear this week that the Federal court lifted the injunction that has been in place to protect Segment 1 from development since January. The first 53.5 miles of undeveloped forest is a very special place for so many of us, and it’s the last intact forest east of the Mississippi River.
Please don’t let this development get you down. This was only one battle in a war that has been raging for years, and we’re nowhere near done fighting CMP. The fact that our coalition team members were able to get this injunction in place to begin with was a major victory and it caused a delay in CMP’s destruction in that region for months. It saved the snowmobiling season for area businesses, and slowed CMP down significantly in their efforts to bulldoze through the heart of western Maine ahead of our November vote.
So, let’s put our collective frustration to good use by hardening our resolve even further to defeat CMP at the ballot box this November. Our referendum has always been our best shot at bringing this horrible project to an end, and frankly, the stakes are now higher than ever before.
It was also announced this week that Avangrid, the parent company of Central Maine Power, just became even less domestically owned. Avangrid has sold an additional $4 billion in shares to Qatar Investment, Iberdrola. Before this stock sale, Avangrid was only owned 20% domestically, now that percentage is far less.
This news comes the same week that Avangrid’s lawyers were grilled before New Mexican regulators for being “less than forthcoming” with information about the company’s rocky track record and its foreign ownership during consideration of a multibillion-dollar merger. One attorney accused the company of not negotiating in good faith, saying, “We have had very much difficulty in this case dealing with this company because they do not seem to understand that they have to play by the rules.”
Among the relevant information Avangrid failed to disclose was $25 million in penalties the company has been assessed over the last 16 months for poor service and Central Maine Power’s last-in-the-nation rating with J.D. Power.
A hearing examiner asked, “Am I the only one troubled by this?” Our answer to that is simple - no sir, you are not. CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola has shown the people of Maine time and time again that they can’t be trusted. This is one of the MANY reasons such a diverse group of Mainers has banded together to stop the CMP Corridor. These companies care only about their bottom line. They don’t play by the rules, and we know better than to trust them with one of our most precious resources - our undeveloped north Maine woods.
Speaking of protecting our forest, have you seen what CMP has been doing to it lately? We have, and it’s devastating. Click the link under the picture below to see our new digital ad. Please share this far and wide so that all of your friends and neighbors can see the truth about the destruction CMP is scrambling to inflict ahead of our vote this November.
First Featured Letter of the Week
Town of Caratunk being singled out by CMP
By Kimberly Lyman of Caratunk
Last week, during the legislative hearing for Representative Landry’s bill to remove the municipal ordinance exemption for the development of nonessential transmission lines, CMP singled out the town of Caratunk not once, but twice in testimony against the bill.
After stating that it’s acceptable to benefit some at the expense of “the few,” CMP lobbyist Jim Mitchell said, “I respectfully submit that the 12 citizens of Caratunk who supported the original ordinance that was developed, written and considered specifically to stop the NECEC should not be able to usurp the powers of the Maine Legislature exercised through the administrative body your predecessors created explicitly to act on behalf of all Maine citizens — the Maine Public Utilities Commission.”
Mitchell conveniently glossed over the fact that 86% of the towns along the corridor route have held town-wide votes on the project, and 100% of those towns voted in strong opposition. By singling out the smallest town, with a population of 75 year-round residents, along the route for voting to enact commonsense protections for our small town, Mitchell once again demonstrated this foreign corporation’s callousness and contempt for the communities they would like to slash a hideous, destructive corridor through.
In 2018, I voted to adopt the moratorium, and this November, I will be voting YES to reject this for-profit corridor once and for all. Caratunk should not be forced to serve as an extension cord for Massachusetts.
Shifting gears, Hydro-Quebec’s CEO, Sophie Brochu’s new line of defense for the company’s continued meddling in our election is that this referendum isn’t an ‘electoral process’.
Featured Quote of the Week
“We are accused of interfering in an electoral process, but it is not an electoral process. It's a commercial process.” Sophie Brochu, CEO of Hydro-Quebec in La Presse
Featured Article of the Week
As you can see, Hydro-Quebec is unphased by our calls to stop meddling in our election. In other Canadian reports this week, CEO Sophie Brochu has promised that the foreign government-owned corporation intends to “play dirty” to force their $12.4 billion project through. That’s why it is absolutely critical for each of you to take a few minutes to contact your elected officials TODAY to urge support of LD 194, Senator Bennett’s bill to close the foreign government loophole.
Click the hyperlinks in this sentence to contact your State Senator and State Representative TODAY and urge them to support LD 194. It is absolutely critical that they hear from each and every one of us today because both the Senate and House are expected to vote on this bill this week.A
Additionally, consider donating now to receive one shiny new bumper sticker per household!
Donate by mail: Check made payable to No CMP Corridor sent to PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04398
Secure online: Donate at www.NoCMPCorridor.com/donate
Activists of the Week
Opposition to CMP's destructive corridor is driven by real Maine people from every corner of our beautiful state, and from all across the political spectrum who know that this project is a bad deal for Maine. Here's a compilation of all of our activist heroes who we've recognized over the last year. We've been at this for a very long time, but together, we've only become stronger. The truth is, our activists are a force to reckon with, and CMP is rightfully scared. Please share this video on social media to highlight just how local our effort really is. Grassroots, baby!
Public Lands Update
This week, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee voted unanimously to carry over both public lands bills, LD 471 and LD 1075, in order to give the courts and our referendum a chance to play out before the committee takes action. This is exactly what we had hoped would happen. We would like to thank the committee for their attention to these important issues. During the work session, there was talk of the committee sending a second letter to the Bureau of Parks and Lands to clarify their position on the oversight of public lands and CMP’s lease for NECEC that was issued without the required 2/3 legislative approval. We will be sure to share that letter with you once it is available.
Second Featured LTE
CMP and Maine’s Public Lands
By Theresa York of Farmington
CMP is running an ad on TV right now that claims that their unpopular corridor will cause “No destruction of public lands. But don’t take our word for it. Get the facts.”
Well, the Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, who is charged with overseeing our public lands, recently sent a letter to the Bureau of Parks and Lands that states, “The clearing and placement of large transmission towers and lines on an approximately one-mile-long strip of land across constitutionally protected public reserve lands is a substantially different use of these lands and would substantially alter the use of those lands.” The letter goes on to say that the Bureau “undermined” the intent of the Maine Constitution in issuing leases to CMP without seeking the required two-thirds vote.
This letter was authorized by every single member of the committee but one, and the House Chair said that CMP’s leases were “secret, backroom deals.” Justice Michaela Murphy is currently deciding how to proceed with the pending court case after finding that the Bureau in fact never determined if our public lands would be significantly reduced or altered before issuing the leases. This should enrage everyone, considering that nearly three-quarters of Maine voters supported the constitutional amendment to require legislative oversight for projects that would have this sort of impact on land that belongs to the people.
So there are the facts that CMP doesn’t want you to have. This November, vote YES to reject the CMP Corridor.
This week, the Board of Environmental Protection approved the 700-page ‘minor revision’ application that was submitted by CMP. While this is undoubtedly frustrating, please take comfort in the fact that, because we worked together to raise awareness on this issue, CMP was forced to withdraw two major changes from the application that should never have been included in this sort of revision application.
CMP has refiled these two major changes (a. Moxie Gore, structures 432-543 through 432-547 and b. Appleton Township, structures 432-739 through 432-744) as amendments. As such, they will have to undergo the full review process which includes public notification, public comment and intervenor filings and, since the Army Corps based their permit review on CMP’s application to the DEP, it is possible that these amendments will need to be considered at the Federal level as well.
So, thank you all so much for banding together to make this happen. Because we stuck together, our voices were heard loud and clear. We will provide updates on the BEP process as we know more.
That’s all for this week, friends! If you haven’t yet signed up to receive your Vote Yes to Reject the CMP Corridor sign, this is likely your last chance until our next order this summer. Click HERE to request your sign and consider donating to cover the cost!