Maine is fortunate to have a citizens’ initiative process where we can have a measure of direct democracy. On the ballot this year is an effort by Stop the CMP Corridor to prevent a huge project with few benefits and lots of risk for Mainers. Recently, a similar utility in California, Pacific Gas and Electric, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the deaths of dozens of people in the devastating Campfire event of a couple of years ago, and has filed for bankruptcy due claims from the extensive property damage. It was sparked by inadequate attention to maintenance in an extreme fire hazard zone.
Note that we in Maine have been having a drought — little rain in the last six weeks. According to No CMP Corridor:
“Last year, the Maine Federation of Firefighters sent a letter to Governor Mills outlining just how unprepared we would be if a wildfire were to spark within the first 100 miles of the proposed route. For the first 70 miles, there isn’t a single fire department to respond. The next 30 miles are covered by only three volunteer fire departments that lack the equipment and resources required to fight wildfires under those conditions.”
This is only one of many reasons to oppose the corridor when you vote. Briefly, among the others:
1. Over a dozen towns along the route reversed their initial approval after learning more about the project.
2. CMP is a foreign-owned company and its efforts to influence the election have been quite obvious with the blizzard of TV ads promoting it as an environmentally benign project. It isn’t. They have flooded thousands of acres of forest land, and decaying trees give off methane — an even more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. But it seems to me we have heard about foreign influence in our elections. Maybe you have as well.
3. There has not been a true environmental impact evaluation. CMP stonewalls that effort.
4. Vermont has given its approval for the line, so why not use that corridor?
5. To replace the intended transmission of a large amount of electricity to Massachusetts, will they now build new coal or oil-fired power plants to replace that volume. Possible.
Good motto: “When in doubt, leave it out.” Please vote to reverse the preliminary approval of the CMP corridor.
Jon Olsen, Jefferson