I was dismayed to learn the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce is supporting the CMP Corridor without polling its members or giving corridor opponents equal time at their meetings. The Chamber can do better than allowing itself to become a mouthpiece for a foreign-owned company at the expense of local Maine businesses, and should resist being played as a pawn in Avangrid's ongoing campaign to make deceptive connections between this ill-conceived corridor project and "regional economic improvement.
One can hardly avoid the slick $20 million campaign funded by Avangrid/Iberdrola and Hydro-Quebec. These multinational energy conglomerates counted on Mainers, including the Mid-Maine Chamber’s leadership, to buy into their pretty pro-business propaganda without digging into the public record of the corridor permit proceedings, which clearly establishes the lack of significant economic benefit for Maine ratepayers, and many fewer jobs created (mostly temporary jobs for out-of-state specialists) than lost.
Local businesses need help. This is not the time for the Chamber to take the easy way out by promoting a huge overseas company’s greenwashed project and claiming credit-by-association for regional economic improvement when the corridor’s real benefits accrue to mega-corporations headquartered far from Maine. The Chamber’s membership is counting on them to dig deeper, to do real analysis about how to support regional business (including tourism, guiding, forestry, biomass and others negatively impacted by this corridor) and sustainable economic development that is truly of our region and aligned with Maine’s unique competitive advantage, our great outdoors and quality of life.