The Maine Supreme Court recently ruled that the referendum to stop the Central Maine Power Corridor Project is unconstitutional. This is a serious blow to thousands of Mainers who oppose this project because of its negative environmental consequences. The international consortium based in Spain, Iberdola, which owns Avangrid, the parent company of Central Maine Power, has poured millions into a slick advertising campaign intended to convince Mainers that the project will benefit the environment by using hydropower instead of fossil fuel.
In fact, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, based on multiple studies and reports, “there is zero evidence that the project would result in an actual, verifiable reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.” Hydro Quebec is not proposing to generate new hydropower. They will simply divert power generation from existing customers to New England customers who will pay more for it. To serve existing customers, they will fall back on fossil fuel generation, contributing to global emissions. Moreover, the CMP transmission of power from Hydro Quebec is likely to crowd out local solar and wind development.
Meanwhile, the touted benefits to Maine are illusory. The hundreds of promised jobs would be temporary, while the desecration of wildlife habitat and undeveloped forest in Franklin and Somerset counties would be permanent. Fifty-three miles of brand–new corridor and the widening of another 92 miles of transmission line corridor would devastate massive wetlands and cross more than 100 streams. Waterfowl and wading bird habitat areas would be gutted, shade trees would be cut, and much more. The CMP project’s potentially enormous negative impact on the environment cannot be overstated. I urge everyone to read analyses by the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Council of Maine and contact the Governor and your Maine elected representatives to oppose it. The Maine Supreme Court ruling deprived us of our votes but cannot silence our voices.