Maine Voices: How Pine Tree Amendment could benefit Maine’s environment, economy and future

Portland Press Herald L.D. 489 would protect Mainers by providing a legal basis for citizens, and state and local governments to take action against harmful policies or developments. Did you know that in 48 of our 50 states, people have no legal right to clean air, clean water or a healthy environment? State and local governments can enact policies and permits without considering the air you breathe or the water you drink. This is how chemical plants in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” were built adjacent to neighborhoods and schools. It is how the New England Clean Energy Connect power line can locate in Maine towns that could experience environmental damage from the project. Continue reading

Hydro-Quebec staffs up PR team ahead of referendum fight

Bangor Daily News The provincial-owned utility is bringing on three veteran Maine operatives to expand its messaging operation around the Central Maine Power corridor. Hydro-Quebec has been employing Forbes Tate Partners, a Washington, D.C., lobbying shop, since last year to gauge support for the $1 billion corridor project that has been the subject of a long public-relations campaign. The firm expanded this month by signing on three Maine operatives among seven new hires on the effort, according to federal filings first reported by Foreign Lobby. Continue reading

Maine weighs ban on ballot spending by foreign corporations

The Center Square A key legislative committee is weighing a proposal that would ban foreign corporations from spending money on ballot questions, a move aimed squarely at Hydro-Quebec's efforts to sway Maine voters on a controversial hydropower project. On Thursday, the Legislature's Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs will hold a work session to consider and possibly vote on several bills that would limit or prohibit companies that are either wholly or partially foreign owned from spending money on political advertising on referendums. Supporters of the restrictions say they are needed to keep foreigners from sticking their noses in Maine's business. Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth, says the state needs to close the "shocking loophole" that allows foreign corporations to pour money into campaigns aimed at swaying Maine voters on important public policy decisions. Continue reading

Grohoski LTE: We should say ‘no’ to green-washed power

Kennebec Journal A column by Greg Kesich was based on a false premise about Hydro-Quebec. Your paper recently published a column by Greg Kesich, “Western Maine corridor vote would add new ways to say ‘no’.” While thought-provoking, it was based on the false premise that power generated by Hydro-Quebec, a foreign government-owned corporation, is clean and should be recognized as a solution to climate change. If this were true, top environmental organizations would support the NECEC Corridor project, but they don’t because this is greenwashed power. Continue reading

Bennett OpEd: Stop foreign meddling in Maine businesses

Portland Press Herald Over the last 16 months, something rotten has happened: A foreign corporation owned 100 percent by a foreign government funneled a record-smashing amount – $10 million – into a political action committee to influence the outcome of an election here in Maine. This affront to our freedom occurred in plain sight, and it needs to stop. That’s why, last week, I presented to the Maine Legislature my bill to prohibit foreign government-owned entities from meddling in our elections. Many Mainers turned out to testify in support of my bill, but there were two groups of note who testified in opposition – Hydro-Quebec and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. While they didn’t directly testify, Central Maine Power followed up closely by making known their opposition to my bill. Their strong opposition is undoubtedly fueled by their desire to make $3 billion off the Central Maine Power corridor, a deeply unpopular project unlikely to survive a statewide vote, particularly without vast campaign cash from beyond our borders. Continue reading

LISTEN: WVOM interview with Senator Bennett

Click HERE to listen on WVOM. Senator Rick Bennett discusses why foreign entities should be prohibited from influencing Maine referendums.

Rose LTE: CMP corridor wrong way to go green

Portland Press Herald Massachusetts’ demand for 1,200 megawatts of electrical generation to fill the “energy gap” left by the closure of  two New England nuclear plants can be met with delocalized but interconnected microgrids, each with a capacity for sustainable electrical generation and salt water battery storage that can feed the grid and buffer fluctuations of demand. Continue reading

Hydropower project faces more headwinds

Gloucester Daily Times BOSTON — A plan to bring Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts to helps meet the state's renewable energy needs is facing more headwinds. The $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect project, which is overseen by Central Maine Power Company, seeks to import up to 1,200 megawatts of electricity generated by Hydro-Québec’s dams. The power would be delivered to Massachusetts along a yet-to-be-built, 145-mile transmission line through western Maine. A 2016 law requires Massachusetts utilities to purchase hydropower and other renewables to address climate change and diversify the state's energy portfolio. But opponents of the project in Maine are ramping up efforts to scuttle it with a referendum that's inching toward the November ballot. Several bills in the Maine Legislature also seek to derail the transmission line and require more public oversight of future transmission lines. Continue reading

Political Brew: Power corridor speed bumps, a union fight and tribal sovereignty

News Center Maine Click HERE to watch the segment with Democratic political activist and former candidate for governor and US Senate Betsy Sweet, and conservative WLOB Radio host Ray Richardson, who are our analysts this week. MAINE, USA — Central Maine Power's Quebec to Massachusetts power transmission corridorthrough Maine, officially known as the New England Clean Energy Connect, faces new pressure in the legislature and the courts. Lawmakers are considering three bills that would prevent foreign money from being spent in Maine political campaigns. Hydro-Québec, which the Province of Quebec owns, has spent millions to try to defeat referendum questions aimed at stopping the corridor project. Maine already prohibits foreigners from contributing to candidates running for public office. Continue reading

3.21.21 Newsletter

Hello Friends, Before I jump into bringing you up to speed on the MANY new developments, I would like to thank everyone who took time to participate in the process this week. We had a tremendous showing in Augusta (virtually), and our collective voices were heard loud and clear. I’ve often said that No CMP Corridor’s strength is the continued dedication of our grassroots members. This week was truly a testament to just how powerful everyday Mainers can be when they band together for one common cause.   Continue reading