Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: CMP and the Governor

On Feb. 25, 2019, Governor Mills, in a press release, wrote that the State of Maine will no longer participate in the Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition, which was formed to promote expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration on the continental shelf. Governor Mills states in her release that:

“Maine’s renowned coastline, with its clean water, beautiful beaches, and abundant marine resources is a unique asset supporting some of the State’s most important industries, most notably tourism and commercial fisheries, 54 percent of Mainers live in coastal counties, and the jobs of many Mainers are directly or indirectly tied to our coastal economy. The 46,000 jobs that Maine’s ocean economy provides would be jeopardized by oil and gas drilling activities off our coast.”

The governor cites that 46,000 jobs would be jeopardized by oil and gas exploration of our coast. She also states that 54 percent of Maine citizens live in the coastal counties. With that information provided by her that means the remaining 46 percent of Maine citizens live inland.

Twenty-four thousand jobs are directly tied to wood related employment in Maine. This figure does not take in to account the thousands of folks working in our four-season recreation industry to include skiing, guiding the rivers, camping, hiking, touring, fishing and hunting.

During the governor’s inauguration speech on Jan. 3, 2019 she told Maine citizens “Maine is our home. We are connected by the rivers and the land, the forests and the mountains. We are one Maine, undivided, one family from Calais to Bethel, from York to Fort Kent.”

What is the difference between oil and gas jeopardizing the coast and the proposed CMP power line jeopardizing the streams, rivers, mountains and “our” tourism base?

Tom White

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17 Responses »

  1. Good question, Tom. I'm having a hard time reconciling the statement, "Maine is our home," with taking the position that, if the payoff is good enough, we can sell out to a project that will do irreversible damage to a significant part of its land and resources, not to mention the negative impact it would have on the people in the recreation, hospitality and tourism industries.

  2. Very well written. I would like to know what the corridor will do to property values of the homes that are in some of the neighborhoods that the corridor will go through. I have not seen any mention of that.

  3. Tom,

    I can tell you one difference that matters ALOT to the folks in Augusta. We backwuds, gun totin, tree kuttin,
    Fahhhmas are conservatives and lean towards the wrong political party. Them thar folks down on thaa
    Oceeen beelong to the propahhh political party. That be it.

  4. That’s a good question Tom.

    I’m going to take a wild guess and say that in October of 2018 CMP offered the state 4.2 million dollars for the approval of their transition line. In February CMP upped the monetary amount to 258 million.
    So the difference is about 254 million.

  5. Tom, I agree it feels really disingenuous. The trees they will remove forever along the corridor sequester a lot of carbon and the tourism industry is driven by the quality of the views and the unfettered outdoor experiences. Instead of focusing on energy innovation and maintaining our quality of place this project sells out the people. To quote Walter Gooley from the Farmington selectmen's meeting- it doesn't pass the smell test.
    That being said, it is not to late for the Governor to rescind her support- towns and organizations all along the corridor are doing so as the truth comes out. She could go from being chastised to a hero very quickly- by doing the right thing. I would implore her to talk to people, real people in and around the region and get her information from various sources not paid industry hacks.

  6. Tom, I've been watching this unfold and per the ranting of prolifically partisan commentors it's purely an us and them issue now. How much political damage can one inflict with hatred for the other? I don't see any benefit for the cmp project in my backyard or oil drilling that would taint my favorite Atlantic meals unless it brings my property taxes down and it should. TIFF should go directly to town and county budgets and lower my property taxes but instead we give it to private buisness owners? And in this conversation somehow we loose focus and drag every other progressive project and politician we don't like into the conversation?. The whole thing would be different if a conservative govoner sat in office supporting it (lepage most likely started the conversation In. Spain) so it leaves me with one last thought. Who puts cell towers in their back yard then complains if anyone else wants to do something? Droping the soapbox.

  7. @ Sam

    I don't think the whole thing would have been different if a Conservative governor okayed the corridor (which likely would have happened; it was etched in stone the moment it came to be). The concern from what I've seen seems to be quite bipartisan, but some comments stand out more than others due to their content. If a Conservative allowed it, people would be complaining about 'the Right's shameless pandering to large corporations with no regard to the environment for future generations' as opposed to the current complaint of 'the Left's blind strive for green energy at any cost with no regard to the environment for future generations'.

    In the end the people's ire would have been directed towards whichever side won the state.


  8. Tom, well written. Farmington's home town hero ought to reconsider her stance on the corridor. She only has proven she can be bought, for a very little money.

  9. When I grew up in Maine Hydroelectric Dams powered the state. They shut those down and went to the Nuclear. When the Reactors started going sideways and scaring the hell out of the public they shut those down. Now the want to bring back Hydroelectric Power (not from Maine) from another
    country. It reminds me when they did away with the electric street cars because Standard Oil wanted more cars burning their oil on the streets of America. So we have come full cycle again only this time Maine does not benefit from the Hydroelectric Power Cycle. Life is a series of circles only this time Maine is on the inside looking out.....Thanks Governor

  10. Well said everyone, , it's bad enough we have Trump to listen to and now our governor and her poor decisions. Bring back LePage!!!!!

  11. Well stated Tom!
    Our governor is proving she will go against her word. Her opinion, voice and vote can be bought for the right price. She is willing to sell Mainers out just to fund/expand the type programs she wants credit for. I am so sick of hearing about expanding/increasing for the "low income/poor." I want to help the elderly but I am sick and tired of funding the lazy! I work two jobs, my husband works a well paying job to support our "middle class" family. WE ARE THE WORKING CLASS POOR paying our own bills- mortgage, phone, electric, heat, groceries, health insurance.
    I didn't vote for Mills and hope she turns out to be a one and done governor but unfortunately it won't be before she devastates our state in far too many ways to count. The people of Maine are speaking, we do not want this project or the negative long-lasting impacts it will create. Guess she will count on the welfare and immigrant votes to carry her through.
    LePage may have been hard with his words but he did exactly what he said he would and had the states best financial interests at heart!

  12. It would be great to have Lepage back in four years, however the voters have a short memory. They will have to be reminded of the negative things Aunt Janet has done in her tenure.

  13. Mark R.- I spoke with two realtors because I questioned the premise that towns would benefit from a reduced mil rate because of the taxes. Both told me they would have difficulty selling property along the corridor. One from Kingfield/Lexington said "people come here looking for hilltop views and they are not going to choose those with a big powerline view" So common sense and a couple realtor inputs deduce, yes property values would be reduced.

    as to the partisanship- we all know LePage and Moody would have been in automatic support. Mills surprised some of us because we thought she would see through the faulty science and faulty premise for the whole project. And perhaps listen to the majority of the people, including many who voted for her. We now we know it comes down to the will of the people versus politics as usual. It is not a republican thing, it is not a democrat thing, it is a Maine thing. If you feel like this is important to you its time to take an active stand.

    The tide is turning as facts and science emerge. Wilton and Farmington have decided to let the people vote. Other towns have rescinded support for all the right reasons.

    To those of us who love what is special about Maine, our grandchildren implore us to give it all we got.

  14. Janet Mills...Off shore drilling. No. CMP Corridor. Yes. Benefits of CMP corridor. Not much for the working Mainer. Benefits of potential off shore drilling. Jobs, royalties, our kids of all walks of life finding gainful work with a living wage. HERE. Sure there are Environmental concerns in BOTH. Just looking at the two stink piles and one certainly has to agree that there are more economic advantages in one, over the other, for US. I read what she says, but really am in awe/wonder at her logic and how she is selling it.

  15. What is her logic for the CMP corridor? If it passes its not gonna benefit us, it will hurt us in the long run, just like the new meters. I feel we have enough Cancer causing things in Maine. People vote this down if it's the last thing you vote for!

  16. Sam, Interesting post, I tend to agree. I wonder how towns would feel about the expanded line if they saw large tax breaks coming their way. Or increase tourism if CMP built ATV and snowmobile trails on the line. The same goes for counties in the unorganized portions on the line.

    Every Time some new plan for power comes up wither it is a natural gas terminal in South Harpswell, wind turbines on mountain tops or solar farms, there is a group that is against it.

    Back in the 1970's on any July day from the top of Bigalow Mountain with a set of binoculars you could see cars on Main Street in Kingfield. Now you cannot see the airport at the foot of the mountain because of the pollution.

    But this has happened gradually over 40 years and most people do not even know it's happening so they go happily about their life. Much of that pollution is coming from other states. If massachusetts needs more power they will find. I just hope they do not find it from a source that adds more haze to our air.

  17. It is sad that Mills is backing this scar that will forever be on the landscape. And for what , Maine get no power, no money , ( it all goes out of the country) and a slash as big as the Jersey turnpike from Canada to Lewiston. It is far from totally green energy either,, many First Nations people in Quebec have been fighting the hydro projects on their lands. Now Maine has Mills selling out our lands here... Sad day for us.