Yes, it’s true that we need to significantly expand access to and production of electricity to meet our future energy needs, but the CMP (Central Maine Power) corridor project is not the answer. The CMP corridor was one of 46 different proposals Massachusetts received for projects to provide it with its required renewable energy. Other proposals included domestic solar and wind energy projects, which would provide arguably “cleaner” energy than Hydro-Quebec’s hydropower.
CMP spent years fighting state legislation that would expand the development of solar power in Maine — legislation that finally passed in 2019. And so now, suddenly, they’re all about “clean” energy? I don’t think so.
It’s also disingenuous to have CMP and Hydro-Quebec and CMP corridor proponents claim that the No CMP Corridor campaign is funded by “dirty” natural gas money, when Avangrid — the parent company of CMP — earns so much of its revenue from six of its natural gas subsidiaries. Yes, there is some natural gas money supporting the Mainers for Local Power PAC (not the No CMP Corridor PAC), but [that PAC is] being outspent by the pro-corridor PAC by a factor of 20 to one. This is a clear case of the very large pot calling the kettle black. The grassroots No CMP Corridor PAC operates primarily on small dollar donations from Mainers. This is not exactly a level playing field.
The No CMP Corridor campaign submitted more than 100,000 signatures on its most recent petition to Maine’s Secretary of State earlier this week. These signatures were collected largely by hundreds of volunteers, all of whom are registered Maine voters who live all across the state.
CMP will earn $3 billion dollars on the CMP Corridor, and Hydro-Quebec stands to make $12.4 billion, while Mainers make pennies. Is this about clean energy or about profit?
One proponent of the corridor has argued that “the real threat to trout, other fish, wildlife, and humans is warming air and water …” This is exactly what will happen when CMP clear-cuts the forest around more than 11 miles of heritage brook trout streams in western Maine to make room for the corridor, thereby threatening the fish with warmer air and water.
If, as CMP’s TV ads suggest, the corridor would provide new jobs for Mainers, then why is Northern Clearing, the logging company they’ve hired to clear-cut the forest for the corridor, from Wisconsin? Surely Maine has plenty of skilled logging companies that could do that work.
Prepare yourself for CMP and Hydro-Quebec (the so-called “Clean Energy Matters” campaign) to flood us with more deceptive ads and propaganda over the next nine months. And then, in November, thanks to all of those volunteer signature gatherers, you can vote “yes” to reject the CMP Corridor.
Jill Linzee, New Harbor