Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: A power line with climate-fighting muscle

In a letter published in these pages, Monica McCarthy made the bet that readers wouldn’t double check the fallacies in her writing. While she claims the opposite, Maine experts at the Public Utilities Commission, Land Use and Planning Commission and Department of Environmental Protection all gave the project the green light as it is in the public interest of the state, adheres to strict environmental standards and will comply with new environmental mitigation measures. The Maine Public Utility Commission pegged the project’s carbon reductions at over three million tons per year - that’s equivalent to removing over 700,000 cars from the road.

Following these multi-year review processes, the Conservation Law Foundation made this statement: “NECEC will allow New England to retire dirty fossil fuel plants in the coming years, which is a win for our health and our climate.”

The Clean Energy Corridor will be 54-feet wide - the equivalent of four compact cars placed end to end. The cleared area will be maintained with trees up to 35-feet tall. Additionally, as determined by Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection, 40,000 acres of forest will be designated for conservation as a compensation measure. That is well over 40 times the acreage used for the power line.

And here is something Ms. McCarthy didn’t mention: in addition to being the region’s biggest punch to pollution right now, the power line will also provide $258 million in direct monetary contributions to Maine from Hydro-Québec and its partner, millions in tax income for municipalities and 1,600 well-paid jobs for two years. If the project is blocked, Maine will lose that money and allow polluters to keep on polluting, threatening Maine’s forests. Say NO to fossil fuel polluters and their plans to take this economic jump starter of a project away from Maine!

Lynn St-Laurent
Spokesperson
Hydro-Québec

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29 Responses »

  1. On the news at noon it was stated that the court decision will be made by Monday as to whether or not the people's referendum (against the corridor) is legal. Why does CMP, Avangrid, Quebec-Hydro, etc. etc. want to force this project on the Maine people if the majority doesn't want it? (There's that.... plus the fact that our own State government is taking the side of big business (and foreign too) rather than the side of Maine's own citizens that they supposedly work for.) Challenging the referendum in court was a huge mistake. There will be one heck of an outcry if the referendum is not allowed. Sore feelings toward CMP/Avangrid will be felt for YEARS if people are not allowed a voice on this project. There are ads on TV promoting how CMP is working so hard now with concern for their customers. Seems contradictory. Things have gone this far...…...that vote has to happen.

  2. Oh look a rep from Hydro Quebec still pushing misleading talking points..1600 well paying jobs...that just happen to mostly be short term jobs for out of stater's. These folks just cant be honest about anything.

    Pretty pathetic that the project can't stand on its own feet. They just keep making it clear that they are not honest or trustworthy, what a joke of a company.

  3. How about the details on that 258 million as to where its directly going.

  4. Although I applaud the Bulldog for freedom of speech I’m don’t know if Canada falls in that same category as U.S. citizens. This corridor will only lead to more land being devastated by wind towers and other “green” power sources. Massachusetts needs to learn how to conserve energy instead of ****ing up Maine. Wheres the natural gas we asked to heave pass through their state to help with heating costs? They shut us down ! Screw Massachusetts!!!

  5. Hey Lynn, let me borrow an old Texas proverb, " Don't Pi** Down My Back Then Tell Me It's Raining Out"

  6. Lynn St-Laurent spokesperson for H-Q, aka spokesperson for the Province of Quebec thinks she knows what is good for Maine when the reality is she is pushing a financial agenda for the Provence of Quebec. Hydro Quebec is not and independent power company like we have here in the U.S. Hydro Quebec is Quebec. It is solely owned by the Provence of Quebec and the solvency of Quebec is hugely dependent on the income generated by power sold to the south.

    Follow the money. It leads right to the coffers of the Quebec government and its partners in Spain.

    Any benefits to Maine will be short term and financially insignificant while the destruction to a unique and important forest, sensitive habitats, local Maine economies and jobs, will be permanent and irreversible.

    The necec is nothing more than a cash cow for Quebec and Spain. Period.

  7. Ms. St-Laurent,

    The only thing threatening Maine’s NorthWoods right now is Hydro-Québec and their partners. Along with a few appointed commissioners.

    I for one, don’t put much faith in what you, or other corporate spokespersons have to say about this project. I know what the motivation is. And for once, it would be so refreshing if those spokespersons, including yourself, would stop with the “we’re going to combat the evil fossil fuel companies because we really care,” monologue, and instead speak of the true motivation, that being the money that’s going to be made by your foreign corporation, and others corporations like you.

    Now here is something l’d like to say to you. If this project is blocked by the people of Maine we will not be allowing polluters to pollute our land with 85-120ft mono-polls, connected to a high voltage transmission line. We will not be allowing polluters too damage our environment as they cut through our forest, destroy wetlands, and displace our wildlife. In other words, if we block this project we’ll not be allowing Hydro-Québec and their partners
    to pollute our land, as they have theirs.

    This NECEC is not being built for the public interest of Maine. Massachusetts wouldn’t be footing the bill for its construction if it was. It being built for the public interests of Quebec, Massachusetts, and Spain, in Maine, because going through Maine is the cheapest way to build it.

    I don’t know if you’ve noticed Ms. St-Laurent but there are a lot of Mainers that aren’t standing side by side with Hydro-Quebec and the others that want to put this ugly scar on our state.
    Not now, not ever. You’re wasting our time and your money. Just tell your partners to string that high powered transmission line somewhere else.

    Thanks, and have a great day.

  8. I love the naysayers, they are like those things that record for 30 seconds and then just repeat what was said every time the button is pushed, or a slow learning parrot...brawkkkk..bad for Maine....brawkkk..bad for Maine.

    I want a 100% straight up, fact filled answer to this...
    How is the NECEC bad for Maine?

    Oh a few last things, please don't say "Because a foreign company is making money off Maine."
    90% of the junk in people's homes, dooryards, cupboards and refrigerator, the money that paid for those things goes out of state and in many cases to a foreign country.

    And second, don't talk about the trees being cut down, more than 10,000 acres of Maine wood are slated to be cut off by JD Irving, well would you look at that, a foreign company making money off the state of Maine, at least CMP is going to pay taxes on the land they are going to clear.

    Lastly, The NECEC runs through 3 counties, Franklin, Somerset and Androscoggin, try to refrain from mentioning the rest of Maine as it really doesn't concern them, kind of like how new salmon pens in Belfast doesn't concern people in Farmington, and is also why people in Farmington were not consulted on the Belfast salmon farm expansion project, because it doesn't concern them.

    I await your answers.

  9. Hydro Quebec can make their dirty money in Vermont. Clf is neck high in the swamp when it comes to this project. For some reason they said the energy from this was not "green" when it came to the project in New Hampshire. But as soon as Maine was chosen, the story changed, along with their support. Mainers do not want or need this dirty power coming thru here to Massachusetts.

  10. You go Terry! I am side by side with you!

  11. @ hrtlss@ssturd - I applaud you, it has been quite some time since you have been able to draw a response from me, as I have learned to let your delusional ramblings slide. This response that you so “await” will probably not make it through the bulldogs censorship committee, but here I go.

    To start with - “I love the naysayers, they are like those things that record for 30 seconds and then just repeat what was said every time the button is pushed, or a slow learning parrot...brawkkkk..bad for Maine....brawkkk..” - Hmm, projection much? How can you logically take the things that you type seriously, you are the epitome of hypocrisy.

    Secondly- “I want a 100% straight up, fact filled answer to this...
    How is the NECEC bad for Maine?”- I implore you to answer your own quorum in reverse, and I will even make it it a bit more simple of a question,..... WHAT IS IN THIS FOR THE PEOPLE OF MAINE?

    Third- “Oh a few last things” should not come before “secondly”. You paint yourself as such a wise and all seeing mystic, yet you have such poor choices in structure, maybe if you used your Google machine to download one of those nifty grammar and sentence structuring apps, you would be taken more seriously.

    Fourth- “And second, don't talk about the trees being cut down, more than 10,000 acres of Maine wood are slated to be cut off by JD Irving, well would you look at that, a foreign company making money off the state of Maine, at least CMP is going to pay taxes on the land they are going to clear.” - On this note, I will not dispute the origin of the company in question. I will say, that whatever is harvested will grow back, not be treated with pesticides to prevent regeneration and thus, leave a lasting scar on the landscape for the rest of human existence.

    Fifth- “Lastly, The NECEC runs through 3 counties, Franklin, Somerset and Androscoggin, try to refrain from mentioning the rest of Maine as it really doesn't concern them, kind of like how new salmon pens in Belfast doesn't concern people in Farmington, and is also why people in Farmington were not consulted on the Belfast salmon farm expansion project, because it doesn't concern them.”- Are you joking with this one? I thought of making further comment and talked myself out of it. You should possibly consider, with all of the intellect and knowledge that you posses, building a rocket ship and launching yourself into orbit. If not, I have heard that SpaceX is always looking to recruit the most “exceptionally qualified individuals “. That might be a good fit for you? 🤥

    In closing,

    You Sir, have impressed me with your self appointed sense of superiority! I applaud you, and may we all strive to reach a level that is nowhere nearly aligned with yours!

    -Cheers

  12. First: THANKS Jeremy for your great response to the predictable background noise from HB.

    OK, Lynn from HQ - love the fact that no one from HQ participated in testifying under oath at any of the hearings that took place. Nice you can come out of hiding now that you are desperate. And your 54 foot RoW? That's only for a small portion. The remainder will be 300-400 feet wide. Your letter already has me pulling my pant legs up past my knees. As for CLF? They opposed the NECEC project in VT and NH but brothers Mahoney (one from CLF and one from Avangrid) seem to 'agree' on Maine. Gee, wonder why? The $258 mill you state - try including that is over 40 years and rate payers will likely get less than 50 CENTS/month reduction. But your figure looks great until details and FACTS come out.

    Your company along with Iberdrola are FOREIGN companies that are spending millions to influence Maine people. Why not use some of that money to pay for an Environmental Impact Statement (which, BTW, HB said that several have been done - just one more false statement from his end among many)? That will surely clear up everything. Citing the Maine agencies approval - most of us know that a few people in each agency are under pressure and influence to ram this project through at all costs so that your beloved hydro QUEBEC can stick millions more $$$ in your pockets. I am happy to see so many letters from HQ - you, Lynn, and your colleague Serge must be crapping bricks that this project might not go through. What will the Canadian government do to fill in that monetary gap if you lose? Let's be fair - this is NOT a good deal for Maine, just for you and Iberdrola. Sleep tight, don't let the Maine bedbugs bite.

  13. HB does an environmental study,,,
    He looks around,,
    Hates everything and everybody he sees,,
    Deems it "no value"...

    STUDY SAYS,,,,,
    PROJECT APPROVED.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  14. Where is the outcry over the thousands of acres being clearcut in Maine for all the solar farms? There doesn't seem to be the badmouthing of locals clearcutting their property to supply clean energy like there is over the much smaller tracts of land that the corridor might need to cut. Double standard?

  15. Jeremy Lambert, I asked for 100% fact based answers,
    in no particular order,

    "I will say, that whatever is harvested will grow back, not be treated with pesticides to prevent regeneration."
    CMP can't use herbicides, Irving's is going to use herbicides on 4000 acres and pesticides kill bugs, not trees.
    That whole 100% fact based thing was really wasted on you, huh?

    You also wondered "WHAT IS IN THIS FOR THE PEOPLE OF MAINE?"
    This is a very easy question to answer.
    The people of Maine taken as a whole, will get nothing, because...
    a) The people of Maine don't have any money invested in the NECEC, no investment means no dividends.
    b) The people of Maine don't own the land the NECEC will occupy, so no leased land means no owed rent.
    c) The people of Maine have no risk in the project and therefore deserve no reward.

    The addendum to my original post, were afterthoughts and added out of order as they were added as I thought of them and then rearranged and edited several times, I hope this alleviates some of the confusion caused the buckshot fashion with which the addendum was written.

    Ozerki, The existing pole line in which CMP is going to use is already 250-300ft wide in most of its entirety.
    As for the EIA, it is done by an outside party not involved with the project, in this case that would be the Army Corps of Engineers. But the permitting information is in the public domain, if an EIA really mattered, the opposition could have had one done.

  16. Really look into the archives here on the bulldog. There was plenty of opposition to the local solar farm going in.

  17. Really?

    Thirty seven miles of the land that CMP makes claim to is Maine Public land.
    Illegally leased...
    And believe me when l say that if they were putting solar farm through our Northwoods, a lot of people would fight that too.

  18. The real issue here is. How can this legally be done if the MAJORITY of mainers VOTED NO!!!!!!???? What democratic republic is this??? The money buys lawyers, the lawyers buy the laws the money wants😁 People have learned that they don't have to be accountable for their actions because they have laws to protect them so they can't be hurt for being grimy!!

  19. HQ stands to make $500 million/year from this project. Spanish company Iberdrola/Avangrid will also make a killing - $60 million/year for 20 years. Maine gets what? $258 mill over FORTY years and $140 mill goes to ratepayers and cmp's rate increase already covered that 'loss'. (this amounts to 50 CENTS a month savings). Nice job. Is the environmental damage worth this pittance? I think not.

  20. Heartless, what do you have to lose? Putting all your eggs in the public utilities basket was not a good idea. Maine Public Reserved Lands belong to the citizens of Maine. Timberland harvesting is the only industry to legally lease these lands and must pay taxes on the harvested timber to the state of Maine. Diversifying your investments will reduce your heartburn.

  21. HB, your memory is conveniently fading. We had this discussion a while back. NO EIS has been done and, if you recall, you claimed "several" had been done - WRONG. Not asking for an EIA, never did. No, not correct about RoW width - 150' is the width. If you want to play the game, get the info right.

    It is incumbent on the applicants to pay for an EIS, NOT opponents. Take a clue from VT and NH.

    Just refrain from commenting when you don't have the correct info, it's embarrassing. (for you)

  22. HB, you’re making some progress; Jeremy didn’t include his cute ‘NIMBY’ closing line. BRAWKKKK!!

  23. Hrtlss,

    Thanks for clarifying that the people of Maine as a whole, will get nothing.

    And l want to clarify that CMP doesn’t own all the land that they’re using for their extension cord. There is the matter of illegally obtained Maine Public Land.

    The people of Maine have no risk in the project? Why in the world is mitigation monies being paid to the state of Maine then? A very meager amount, may l add, compared to what those foreign corporations will make.
    As Ozerki kindly pointed out.

  24. People ask why this should be allowed if it is not popular. If every infrastructure project was subject to a popularity contest, NOTHING would ever be built. Without highways and bridges - many of which were highly unpopular when proposed - people and goods would not be able to get anywhere. Without manufacturing facilities, we'd have a lot fewer jobs. Without housing, people would not have a roof over their heads.

    Most of the arguments against this project are based on false claims. Read the letter. The company's mitigation efforts will exceed the environmental impacts many times over.

    Just because you have an axe to grind with CMP because you don't like having to pay for the electricity you use every month, does not justify the baseless attacks on this project.

  25. MaineMod,

    Environmental impacts aren’t the only thing at stake here.
    This project will kill a lot of permanent Maine jobs and impact the economy in this area.
    And my guess is that this project will unseat a few politicians when the smoke clears.
    The sad part is that CMP just doesn’t care.

    I think l’ll go buy an old fashioned oil lamp.

  26. Thank you Ms. St-Laurant for the informative letter. It's refreshing to hear a voice of reason amongst the sea of negativity and name calling that you see in the comment section.

    I have no doubt that if the referendum moves forward, the people of Maine will refute the vocal, ill intentioned minority opposed to this very important project. This is good for Maine and Franklin County.

  27. FT - totally misguided and wrong. But, yes, the referendum should be used and allow the people to vote on this pathetic project being shoved down our throats by 2 foreign countries. There is so much wrong with what Ms. HQ says ...... but, of course you know that ........ just another NECEC troll paid to make them look 'good' while they are actually wearing no clothes.

  28. MaineMod - If your job or property value were negatively impacted by this proposed project you would have a different view.

    FTown Bryan - I collected signatures for the referendum from Southern Maine to Mid Maine. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. Old, young, Dems, Repubs, poor, wealthy, north to south. No amount of money spent on adds will change enough minds to defeat the upcoming referendum. Portland certainly isn't going to save you on this one.

    Lynn St. Laurent/CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola - Nobody likes being lied to. You all have lied to the people of Maine from the start. This continual lying along with your corrupt allies in Maine government is going to be your undoing.

    Enjoy the 4th. A day that celebrates our break from people that were taking advantage of citizens. Sounds immediately familiar.

  29. Terry dont buy a lamp I have one you can have. CMP is already going to raise our power because of the damages from the storms. Lets go back to a 2 room house with woodstoves. No more free world.Whats that saying? Liar Liar pants on fire? They are all lying. Hang em all.

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