Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: A letter to Gov. Mills

I am writing to you from the DC metro area. You might wonder why someone from outside your fair state is contacting you; I have been traveling to Maine for decades. It's a destination for my family and I to escape the city. It is also the beloved home of one of my siblings and his family, and their many friends and neighbors. It is a sacred place. I know that I am not alone in expressing these sentiments. The natural beauty there draws close to 40 million people a year. Outside your extraction industries, yours is a tourist/service based revenue state. Considering the current population of Maine, that is a lot of added outside revenue to risk over bad energy policy and brings me to the reason I felt compelled to contact you. It strikes me as odd, and rather sad, that I should find myself having to state the obvious to you, when you were raised there.

I have to wonder how all those folks who visit Maine and spend an awful lot of money to do so, would react if they had any inkling that your administration is planning to allow a foreign owned company to run a huge and unnecessary corridor through the middle of western Maine, especially after you ran a campaign constantly touting the beauty of the state and its wildlife and waterways, and the obvious earning potential of recreational opportunities there. I am completely baffled, as I am sure many of your voters are, as to why you would encourage the destruction of one of the last, large swaths of contiguous forest on the eastern seaboard, when you repeatedly said as the "leader" of Maine, you would tackle climate change issues and protect your state's resources. It is completely contrary to what you promised your voters and it defies all the reasons why 40 million folks just like me opt to spend our recreational dollars in Maine. Other state's governors and their residents have very recently suffered the economic impacts of the folly of ill thought out and poorly implemented plans. You might ponder that as you cavalierly dismiss the voices of towns across that region and enter in to an agreement that will scar and subsequently cripple the very things that bring people in to your state.

I must say I am shocked and appalled to see you in action. I followed your campaign. It was historic. It may end up being historic for reasons other than the ones you would like. In your own words you unequivocally stated that you've made it your mission to stand up to those that would exploit the people of Maine. Is that not what you are doing right now; exploiting the people of rural Maine? It appears you are taking a page right out of Mr. LePage's playbook. He's known nationally, and not for any good reasons. Is that how you intend your legacy to resonate in history as the first female governor of Maine? Based on your campaign and your family history, one would think your goal would be to protect that region at all costs. Your most recent actions on that corridor speak far more loudly than the apparently hollow words that got you in to office.

Your veto on that project speaks volumes about whose side you are on when it comes to Maine's natural resources, and it isn't that of the environment nor those rural communities and small businesses, largely recreational, who have clearly responded to that corridor with a resounding no. I would think that as a woman in your position, you might grasp the unique opportunity presenting itself to you right now. The country is horribly divided. There is a massive chasm between the haves and the have nots, yet you fail to see what is right under your nose: people from both sides of the aisle, from varied backgrounds, educational levels and socioeconomic statuses, from a multitude of industries, they are all coming together in a meaningful way to resist the exploitation of your state. You were tasked with that very thing when those folks voted you in. You could take this issue and make it a framework for the nation on how to bring people together and move in a progressive and meaningful way on big energy and reining in corporate entities. Wouldn't that be a far more impressive legacy to leave for the future of Maine? Instead, you are ignoring the voice of the people and I have to wonder why. Within months of your inauguration, it would seem you ran for office to benefit yourself and family somehow, not the folks who got you there.

How sadly ironic your logo consists of trees when you are about to green light a company from out of the US, to provide energy to folks outside your own state, and in the process, cut down a significant amount of forested acreage. Is that corridor going to run right through your property up there? Will it be visible from that pretty lake you and your family enjoy? Somehow I doubt it, yet you seem to be cavalierly unconcerned about other families and the impact that construction and those lines will have on their properties and livelihoods. You have children of your own, and grandchildren. What are you leaving for other people's grandchildren? The Kennebec is the backyard of thousands of Maine residents. Don't they deserve the same level of consideration that you are obviously granting your own family?

I implore you to rethink your position on that corridor. It is simply an unnecessary endeavor and we all know there are other options that won't further degrade our environment. Based on the economic forecasts I read, it isn't even worth what you WILL lose in recreation based experiences, never mind the science behind the reason those woods should not be subject to further pillage in terms of protecting those watersheds and wildlife. The people of Maine and their families deserve more from the person they voted in to represent their interests. You should consider that, and the future of Maine's children. There are people other than Mainers watching you Mrs. Mills. Be the change we want to see in the nation. You have an enormous opportunity here to set the bar, not lower it. I hope that you will choose to do so.

Liz Stevens
Silver Spring, Md.

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15 Responses »

  1. Liz, this is a nicely written and thoughtful letter for all us Maine Residents, to our Gov. Let's just see if she stands behind her State of Maine and the people it represents!!

  2. Oh look, another person from a state whose power comes across other states and towns, telling Maine that it shouldn't help Massachusetts, when these people live in a state that produces ALL of its own electricity and has none coming in from miles away across people's backyards, through big towns, little towns, through the woods, over rivers and streams, then they can say that other states shouldn't carry power lines to other states, but until then people in Maryland, a state that produces 1/5th of its own electricity should probably stay out of the discussion.

  3. Great letter Liz. Thank-you. Let's keep it about the letter and not HB.

  4. Thoughtful letter Liz. Hoping it reaches the right ears and eyes.

    HRTLSS, while you are generally not comment worthy, in this case Liz makes the case for why Maine is special, unique and worth saving from "being like very other state."

  5. I don't think the majority of people in this state, no matter what their circumstances, care about the financial advantages that might come from the CMP corridor.

    I think they mind most about the wilderness - that it is there for their descendants. That is why many live here.

    a referendum would end it.

  6. I'm on the other side of the aisle from Mills and the majority of posters on here. But I agree with most for this ONE TIME (ha ha). Well-written, Liz. That crony capitalism is everywhere, isn't it??

    Maybe next she could pen another letter about how they've chosen to throw our economy in the toilet, and hope to tap those from away to make up for it (tho then they won't come vacation here, worsening the spiral...)? Too bad vacationers won't help when the property tax is soon double what it is today...

  7. Hey folks,

    I'm gonna make a comment that may upset about 50% of you people. I hate to bring politics
    Into this, but I'm gonna anyways because it is VERY relevant to this situation. Please think back
    About 20 years (late 90's and early 2000's ) when Governors Baldacci and King were running the
    State and they, along with Democrat controlled legislature, decided to destroy our mountains to
    install those ugly wind turbines. Where were all of you back then??? Those things are everywhere
    Now and as i drive here and there, i seldom see them spinning. We were told that they are super
    Efficient and would generate lots of power because it is windy up on those hilltops. Whoops, i
    Guess that wasn't exactly true. The Dems pushed these as the SAVE THE WORLD answer to our
    Warming planet. Billions of tax payer dollars in subsidized wind power and some people got rich.
    Now we have a new governor who ran her campaign as a somewhat centrist Democrat who would
    Work with both sides of the isle. But she has moved hard left and is signing a bunch of new BIG
    Spending bills generated by the Dem controlled legislature. I could write 1000 words and describe
    The insanity coming from Augusta. The new state (2 year) budget is up $800,000,000 over the Lepage
    Final budget. The Dems running for president are offering FREE everything to get votes. Have you
    People been paying attention. I know that Darryl will tell me this is not about politics, but it is man!!
    The DEMOCRAT party is the problem. They have nothing in their platform to stand on. They have been
    Playing the same poker hand for 30 years (Republicans hate minorities, women, immigrants, poor
    People, disabled people, elderly, children, on and on). The country is doing great under our current
    President. So what can they do now??? Offer free college to get the millennial votes, and free health
    Care to get the vote of alllll the lower income folks, and reparations to get the African American vote
    And open borders to get immigrant and Hispanic votes, etc. FREE FREE FREE FREE!!! Come on people
    Wake up and smell the coffee. The DEMS pander!!!! That is all they do!!!! Pander to anyone who will
    Listen and vote for them. What do they deliver in return? BIG GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS that are
    Always screwed up and wasteful and seldom do what they promise. The DEMS will destroy our state
    and country if you keep voting for them. You can not trust them!!! How is Governor Mill's looking right
    Now? Sorry if this dose of reality ruins your day, but come on people....think hard about this stuff.

    No need to remind me, I know Governor Lepage is for this power line project. He is wrong on this one!!

  8. I will try again the last comment may have to hard on the hrtlss one. This corridor is nothing but a scam to bring “green” energy to Mass. Which by the way Mass A.G. has said is not green but they are building two new natural gas plants where the exhaust comes right up here to Maine. So instead of us helping with their carbon credits why don’t they shut off their air conditioning and shut off the street lights or anything to conserve energy. Hrtlss obviously has the answer for everyone to fix this problem just get rid of CMP.

  9. Mike - this Conservative was right there during the wind turbine fiasco, trying to help stop them from doing it. But it FELT SO GOOD!!!! Now we're stuck with useless towers that do little, and will burn up before they reproduce the energy it took to create them. AND they've destroyed those mountain tops. But hey - several people GOT RICH off it, laughing all the way to the bank. That's what political naivete gets you. 100 acres of solar panels, anyone?

    10 years from now, I'll be saying yup, I stood up trying to stop this corridor, while another crop of politicians who are connected gets RICH from stripping our wilderness out. These people aren't rural at all...Mills & Co, they are urbano-philes who idolize big $ and the "values" of those from away. If ANYONE thinks these people are 'small town' - you're dreaming. They're jealous of their big-town counterparts, and will do about anything to join their ranks. Again - don't be naive, please. None of them are in this 'for the environment' or to look out for your interests! The almighty dollar.

  10. Whatever one might think of the basic issue, I think it is very unfair to imply that Janet has self-serving motives. That is not in her nature. Sly unfounded implications diminish the debate.

  11. @Anne Smith...maybe not but she's on a ego trip.

  12. Liz,
    By no means is our current Governor taking a page out of Mr. Lepages playbook. He left us with a Billion dollar surplus...probably no where near that now.

  13. "Whatever one might think of the basic issue, I think it is very unfair to imply that Janet has self-serving motives. That is not in her nature. Sly unfounded implications diminish the debate."

    Ok - so I guess they're doing their level best at destroying our economy, culture and way of life out of love and caring for their fellow Mainers, right. LOL

    The only other conclusion one can make, if it's not self-serving, then it's incompetence. On a scale this state has never before experienced.

    And remember - if it's fair to make those claims about Trump, it's fair to do it for YOUR politician, too. I'm going with self-serving 1-termer with friends who have a nasty agenda, myself. There is no 'debate' to diminish - when you see the bills they've passed and tried to pass, there is no doubt what they're trying to do.

  14. Anne Smith I want to agree with you, I really do. I voted for Janet and fought many battles on her behalf with my conservative friends. But while Janet was campaigning and saying " I have serious concerns about this corridor project" her brother Peter was starting Western Mountains and Rivers, a CMP funded non profit started to promote the corridor. There are other ties to entrenched to ignore to believe she was truly "on the fence", such as ex CMP CEO fundraisers and etc. So, she mislead us to get votes and she still supports the project despite the facts. Maybe not self serving, but serving of a few select others over the people of Maine. the most disillusioned group of No Corridor folks- those that voted for Janet and are now playing the fool. We will not forget, unless she comes around.

  15. Let me be careful and politically correct when I say,,,

    Who cares if this statement causes anyone anxiety.
    Turn your back on us,,, you get what you get.

    The trust is gone.
    If she runs for re election,,, she will lie again.