Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: A time to act

I have spent the past week listening to the DEP hearings on CMP's proposed transmission line (NECEC project). Sadly, many of the organizations that oppose the project and have "educated" us - the general public - on the "bad" things about the project will eventually support it - IF they get more compensation.

From their perspective it really isn't about a bad proposal, it's about getting more compensation.

Some opponents will never be for it but many are just looking for a bigger hand out.
In the meantime, they have "educated" us about how bad this proposal is but down deep they really don't believe it. They just want more.

Hearing the testimony, which included many facts, many half truths and many statements that were just plain false - it is very difficult to sort out what the real truth is.
From my perspective the following points are indisputably true:

1) The 670 megawatt Pilgrim Nuclear plant will cease operation permanently on June 1st, 2019 after operating for over 50 years.

2) Initially, fossil fuel will take its place as ISO-NE (Independent System Operator of New England) dispatchable baseload source.

3) Many older coal, oil, & nuclear generating facilities will be permanently retired in the future.

4) The carbon emission from fossil fuel generation contributes to greenhouse gases.

5) Green house gases are one of the major causes of climate change.

6) Established hydro generation facilities have practically no carbon emissions.

7) Electrical usage will increase in the future as more homes are built, as more electric cars and heat pump technology is promoted.

8) Wind and solar are not truly dispatchable power sources - meaning always available.

9) ISO-NE needs a certain level of base load dispatchable generation always available.

10) All power sources that bid into ISO-NE power pool are chosen based on price and availability.

11) Existing hydros are often one of the least expensive sources of dispatchable electricity.

12) The cost of the proposed CMP line will be borne entirely by Mass. ratepayers not by CMP customers.

13) There is 110 MW of excess capacity in the proposed line and is available to Maine ratepayers when it is needed.

14) The proposed line is sited entirely on private land or in CMP's existing r/w.

15) There will be an electric rate reduction for all CMP customers if power is provided by the proposed line. The amount of rate reduction will depend on the price of natural gas.

16) The projected life of the proposed line is 40 years plus.

17) There are parts of the proposal that will benefit all Maine ratepayers.

18) The proposed settlement already agreed to by CMP and many of the intervenors that directly affects us in Franklin county is as follows:
A) $15M broadband infrastructure for the host communities over 5 years
B) $4M for vocational programs in Franklin & Somerset counties over 5 years
C)$5M to support economic development for Franklin county residence over 5 years
D) $1M for internship & scholarships to UMF over 5 years
E) Approx 3500 jobs at peak during construction
F) Estimated $18M (year 1) property tax to host communities
G) Estimated $400,000 (year 1) property tax to the Town of Farmington

19) If this line isn't built all of the above benefits go away.
We must sort out what the true facts are. This is very difficult given all the half-truths and misinformation that has been distributed.

Central Maine Power has had problems in the past, some with the billing system, some with how they explained these problems, some with smart meters, some with outages and other missteps. Basically, this is a trust issue, however, the proposed settlement is not just CMP's guarantee but is backed by the following parties:

Office of the Public Advocate
Conservation Law Foundation
Industrial Energy Consumers Group
various Labor Groups
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Governor's Energy Group

and it certainly appears that the proposed settlement will be backed by other opposition groups if their concerns for environmental mitigation are considered and adequately compensated.

This leaves many of us out here on a limb. What are we supposed to believe? Some of us are opposed to it because of the info being fed to us by opposition groups who are ready to flip if they get more compensation. Some of us will always be opposed to it and some of us are trying to sort out truth from fiction.

We as Maine people need to step back, take a deep breath and think about the future.
Yes, there will be clearings, there will be towers, but we have clearings and towers in the existing r/w which is all of the line that most of us will ever see in our lifetime.
Most of us don't stop to think about the source of our electricity. We just want it to be there when we flip the switch.

Where will our clean power come from in the future?

ISO-NE is tasked with determining where it comes from and most of that is determined by price and availability - not based on how clean the source is.

If we decide that this dispatchable clean hydro power proposal is rejected, then ISO-NE has no choice but to purchase the next available dispatchable source. It most certainly will be a fossil fuel source.

Please put aside all of the propaganda and half-truths that have been put forth by organizations that are ready to approve this proposal once they have received "adequate" compensation and look to the future.

This proposal really is a good deal for us Mainers not only for today, but for our future as well.

Maybe this proposal could be better, but maybe it is going to slip thru our fingers and be gone forever.

It's almost like when I buy one of a kind of "something". After I have purchased it, I think maybe if I had held out longer I could have gotten a better deal. Sometimes I have held out too long and someone else got the good deal.

We need to get behind this proposed NECEC project.

We cannot afford to hold out for a better deal--our grandchildren are the ones depending on us. Please support the NECEC project.

Delbert Reed
Freeman Township

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28 Responses »

  1. Delbert, thank you for so clearly spelling it out for everyone. I have to say, it makes me smile to realize common sense and factual information still has a home on the Daily Bulldog.
    I hope the uninformed among us will read your article, fact check it and understand what is real and what is not. They don't have to agree. Just as long as they know the facts and not propaganda

  2. Say NO to NECEC is not holding out for a better deal. No amount of money is worth the permanent destruction of Maine's environment, wildlife habitat, waterways, GLOBAL C02 emissions, or way of life. We can't be bought. We just want this project to go away.

  3. Delbert, last night in Starks CMP had a power point presentation, studies, maps, displays, at least 6 paid spokespeople. They did a great presentation! Problem was, it was full of half truths and hogwash. After hours of vigerous debate, the people voted against it 45-15. Just like every other town. I understand you have your opinion, I have mine. Mine just happens to align with the majority of people who see this project for what it is-a bad deal for Maine.

  4. Hallelujah!!! A voice of fact and reason. Why weren't you in Starks last night. People were all over the map with emotions and couldn't even stick to the issue at hand, let alone the facts.

  5. Several years back as wind turbine projects were facing difficulty in getting local citizens to accept them, the legislature enacted legal bribery where the developers would pay the host town at least $4000 per turbine per year for every year it was in operation. Little did people know, this bribe money comes from taxpayers and ratepayers. But it has had a carryover effect and is promoted by some of the very same lawmakers who manufactured it.

  6. Eddie, thanks for the condescending attitude towards the people of Starks, for it is thanks to people like you that town after town reject reject the project.

    What I heard last night was a bunch of conscientious, well informed citizens debating the project with decency and decorum. In the end, they made an intelligent well informed decision to oppose the corridor.

    This despite the fact an army of CMP execs and paid prop persons were on hand to do everything in there power to sell the project.

    It is in fact you, Eddie, who are reacting emotionally. Those of us who have examined every aspect of this project fully understand what is going on here. CMP profits. HydroQuebec profits. Massachusetts is fooled into thinking they are getting green energy. Maine people lose something they can never get back.

  7. What will prevent them from raising the price when we are dependent on them to maintain power on the grid?

  8. Congratulations Tony, you win the debate. Guess what? CMP is a for profit entity, owned by a Spanish corporation with shareholders in the middle east. They will always make a profit, no matter what promises they make. If it costs them more, guess who is paying for it? Not the shareholders from Quatar.

  9. Delbert, first of all your wording of "Compensation" is very similar to the FBI investigation on Hillary Clinton. One set of wording is "Not Good", and the other wording is "Criminal". The wording the FBI used to clear Hillary of Crimes was " Extremely careless" where it should have been "Gross Negligence" which is a key to criminal prosecution.

    I mention this because CMP's "Mitigation" or "Compensation" is in actuality "Bribery", a Criminal act.

    The True opposition, which are the ones still standing, are the ones for which Truly Love our beautiful State. We will never, ever fall, to "Bribery" for any amount of money. For the most valuable Asset to us is "Our Maine", as she is, pure, unraped, unbeaten to a pulp, for the sake of the Greed that overwhelms the minds of many.

    And on a final note, those who are committed to the Truth, to Protect our homeland, are much stronger Morally, Mentally & Physically, then anyone that can succumb to bribery! For those who succumb to such are extremely weak on all three characteristics, and will fall in defeat!

  10. My question is … what happened to all the "hydro dams" which were in operation here in Maine at one time?
    Why were they taken down or shut down? Why was the Flagstaff Lake and Dam created and then never used? Who made the deal and promises on that … disrupting how many families, homes and farms … and then never put into operation? Those are all illustrations of promises made and promises not kept !! All those
    were "clean, renewable energy" that were either eliminated or never even activated.

  11. China and India are the CO2 emitters (plastics, too). Go talk to THEM. The US is awesome re. pollution. Their turn; stop thinking WE can have some effect on the outcome - we can't.

    More BS so some people can make a buck, like Angus did with the useless wind turbines, is all. Some people will believe anything. In 12 years the earth will be gone anyway, right (same thing they said in the 70s)? Ha ha...junk science, but it's making some people a LOT of money. Just like "jobs saved or created", you can present to people things you can never measure - oh, great scam! How I do I get in on it??

  12. ..It is a shame that so many residents and people living in this great state do not get off their tuffs and know what is going on in the rest of the country and the world ...These kind of projects are not new. Other states have been subjected to 'big new money' projects that do not benefit that average citizen but only enhance the wealth of major corporations that participate in destroying the natural beauty we see with our eyes. Massachusetts does not want their state's view impaired. Vermont and New Hampshire pushed the project aside but the newly elected liberal governor of Maine opened her arms and said "why not". History will judge all those who gave permission to cut a major scar across our beautiful wilderness. I for one will sleep well knowing I did not agree with this blight on my birthright home. All those who voted for this endeavor will please, ' notice the mistletoe hanging on my coat tail.'

  13. Lion, take a drive North. We are not talking about beautiful wilderness. Its an actively harvested woodland with skidder trails and logging roads . The rest of the line is already cleared. But more importantly, it's their land. They own it. I disagree with our governor on pretty much everything. But on this she...... Gulp, cough, cough is .........right

  14. Eddie for the second time I will ask you to stop spreading lies. Some of the forest is active yes some of it is not because of brooks, rivers, and wetlands. CMP does not own all of it and noone has answered the question of are they paying a fair price or low balling people and threatening eminent domain? I assume the latter as we ALL have seen the lies from them on smart meters and billing practices. Stop believing CMP and start thinking for yourself and the state you live in. Maine gets nothing useful from this the taxes are a joke and so are the electric plug in stations. If they truly wanted to help us this project would ACTUALLY DROP OUR DELIVERY RATES!!!!! Ask the people in coburn gore if the windmills did anything but raise their taxes on the camps along rt27. This is nothing more than a bad deal and it must go along with anyone who votes in favor. I have a list of people that will have my full attention next election to do everything I can to keep them out of office.

  15. All the people opposed to this keep a list of people so we can stop them from screwing us again next election. See you at the ballots.

  16. Lies???? CMP owns the right of way. The exception being two parcels owned by timber companies that have agreed to sell. No Eminent domain required. Do some research. None of your elected officials can actually stop this. Because they own the land, as long as they meet the permitting guidelines all these town votes are for show. They don't have any legal meaning wind Mills, I agree are a waste. They are not a reliable source. Hydro is tried and true. The property taxes CMP pays are real and substantial. On any factual level this is a good idea. All I keep hearing are arguments based on emotions and not facts.

  17. Oops typo, it should say elected officials can't actually stop this.

  18. Eddie,..... I notice that on your last post you used the wording of “your” elected officials, interesting choice as opposed to “our”elected officials. Are you not from Maine?

  19. It's been a long time since I saw a Democrat worth voting for. I didn't elect the current ruling party. With a few exceptions, this power line being one, they aren't representing what I want. So you can have them. I will sit back while they screw everything up for a couple years then try to vote them out. Yes I said your but don't get all worked up. I've been a Maine resident for most of my life. I care about our state and fight for what matters. This power line is most definitely not the big deal people are making out of it. Actually I heard today oil and gas companies are funding a lot of the opposition. Not sure I believe that, but it makes sense.

  20. Eddie you need help if you really think this is a good deal and anyone else that believes this b.s. CMP has screwed their customers for a long time. ie. Billing, smart meters, maintenance fees. If this green energy is going to actually “help” our rates should drop yet they aren’t and haven’t since we have put windmills all over our state and not even after this. Also the taxes are b.s. the only thing that happened on rt. 27 as I asked you and ignored was it jacked the camp owners taxes through the roof because all of a sudden they had power at the road. Hows that helping anyone but cmp and the state ? Keep believing these scum bag politicians and CMP. Some day you might have enough money in your retirement from CMP to actually pay attention. Like I said the only people I’ve talked to that support this bad deal either still works for CMP or is retired from there. You keeping up onyour union dues so you can get your raise at the next strike ?

  21. Awww, I am guessing you have never worked a job that entailed working in or around a wetland or free flowing water, the state has 4 easy to follow rules, 1. No heavy equipment touches the water. 2. No destruction of the banks above or below the waterline. 3. Nothing gas powered in the water. 4. A silt net must used at all times, not closer than 60ft from the bank. And DEP checks every day with a surprise inspection three times a week just to make sure you are following the 4 rules. If they find a violation, they can fine the company $10,000 a day until the violation is corrected, or a $125,000 fine and shut the job down completely.

  22. Wind power only survives from taxpayer subsidies. Don't count on any benefit. Hydro power on the other hand, is tried and true. Cost effective and reliable. The tax benefits are based on property taxes. Ask your local assessors. Starks assessors tell me we will make out quite well.

  23. Actually hrtlss I have and still do. That’s why when people like you and eddie spew lies about loggers making huge ruts and devastating land I have called you guys out on it. I am a logger and I know the difference between being a steward of the forest and what these jack wangs call logging these days. You have said on here that loggers leave huge ruts and destroy land and if you think back I told you to report it because it’s illegal. Yet these big corporations like CMP can pay fines and get around that stuff. I see that happen when I was working for a paving company building a big lay down yard in Skowhegan. The owner said it was cheaper to pay fines than get the proper permits. If you really think they won’t mind paying a few fines for messing up a vernal pool or dozen you sir are stupid.

  24. Also your first point about no machines touch the water. Another lie. You may cross any brook stream or river in order to build a bridge ONCE to get the machine to the other side. So maybe you should get some education in the construction world. And the second is also false banks are altered for bridges everytime one is built they have them pesky things called abutments that hold them up. These may be slightly different on a power line only because no permanent bridges are built but they most definitely will be crossing waterways and vernal pools with machines in order to get the mats in place.

  25. Again Eddie and the taxes are a joke these towns will have it all spent by the time it gets to them. Not at fault of said towns. Between the state and schools the towns won’t keep a dime. The state is expanding services so fast the money their guaranteed will be spent before we see a dime. As for the electric plug in stations that’s another waste of time and money wich CMP gets back because it won’t be free to charge the cars. We won’t see a decrease in our bills. Are you starting to see people’s concerns or are you just looking at the increase in your raise in retirement???

  26. During the week of April 7th thru the 13th CMP officials started uttering the words "eminent domain" to the public. Just one more trust issue for us too deal with.

    Dilbert, not only do I and others want this project to slip thru our fingers, we want it wadded up and thrown out of our state.

    No amount of money will suffice for what CMP is proposing.

  27. Does This scenario doing familiar?
    Out Of State Big Money FORCING their will upon us....
    Exactly like CMP their Spanish Owner.
    Follow the cash and corruption.
    Shame on this Governor.

    Pasted from BDN today concerning the Clifton Wind Farm.
    "The expansion will be developed by Halifax, Nova Scotia-based firm SWEB, a subsidiary of Austrian developer WEB Windenergie, which operates more than 200 wind farms across the world. SWEB first got involved in the Clifton wind farm project as partners to help locally owned Pisgah Mountain LLC purchase the original five turbines. However, according to documents filed by SWEB with the Maine Public Utilities Commission, Silver Maple Wind Project will be fully owned by SWEB.".

    I have a close friend from NJ who retired here because of the slow pace of life. And he s offended that those opposing the CMP transmission project is using the NJ Turnpike example. He supports the project.
    I love the guy (he is good people), but he wants it both ways.
    Maine will change drastically if we keep selling out to these foreign corporations.
    Then all if us will run away to NJ to retire...

    Maine, the way life should be.
    Fight for it !

  28. cmp doesn't know to make out a light bill right you think they can run a power line