Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: CMP (Consistent Math Problems)

Consistent Math Problems. A young account was applying for a job and was handed a balance sheet. The prospective employer asked him what it meant. After reading, the applicant answered, “What would you like it to mean?”

CMP and Hydro Quebec are spending immense amounts of money to provide the “truth “to those Maine citizens whom they feel are in need of their version. Much of what is mentioned in their ads is just plain wrong as basic math and public information illustrates, and tremendously lacking in “the rest of the story”. A couple examples:

CMP claims that 400,000 acres of Maine woodland are cut every year. Public information on the Maine Forest Service web site has the rest of the story. First, there were 335,624 acres with a variety of silvicultural prescriptions according to the latest figures published for the year ending 2017. First, to round up by 64,000 (19%) acres is not necessary when the actual figure is publicly available. Secondly, the vast majority of those acres were partially harvested, not anywhere near what CMP has in mind. 22,672 acres are listed as clear-cut located in a number of scattered patches across the state. This represents 6.77% of the harvested land in Maine. The average clear-cut size was 29 acres. The NECEC corridor plan calls for cutting a continuous strip 150 feet wide for 53 miles, 964 acres, in the first phase. This corridor harvest represents 100% of the total Maine clear-cut acres that will not regenerate. Very sensible as CMP is not in the business of growing trees. Stockholders should be appalled that money was spent to publish misinformation about publicly available and accurate information.

The second mathematical deviation in need of the “rest of the story” is the 140 million dollars for ratepayer relief. Granted this is a large number and designed for shock value. The $140 million, when distributed over 40 years and 560,000 ratepayers is quickly diminished to $6.25 per ratepayer per year without applying any time and money value change over 40 years. In addition, it is not as if this will be credited to everyone’s bill. It is paid based on power use, as it should be, leaving most residential ratepayers with nothing. The corridor however is billed as “something for everyone”.
Lastly, the $260,000,000 benefit package amounts to roughly $6.5 million per year over the forty years. The raise in rates CMP just asked for exceeded this amount. Guess there is something for everyone!

Oh Yeah- as usual there is more to the rest of the story. I hope there are some math teachers in the reading audience that can put this word problem to their students: Given facts-, the corridor is 145 miles long. CMP states that 2/3 of the corridor will be built on existing corridors. 53 miles will be built in new woodland areas. OK 2/3 of 145miles is 96.7 miles. The remaining third then to get to the 145 mile total is 48.3 miles. Factual so far? So what is the problem? The corridor is five miles from reaching the border with Canada! Truth in advertising is another skill to be taught to students in the form of –OK that is what they want me to believe….. but what is the rest of the story?

Bob Haynes

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13 Responses »

  1. Bob.... are you concerned about Sugarloafs plan strip the land.. and keeping it stripped using those awful chemicals.. and building a dam.... and using all the water.. it must be awful for those brookies down below in the streams... Just imagine how they keep the golf course so green and fresh during the summer months... just dreadful huh...

  2. Glen,
    Comparing Sugarloaf to CMP...HAHAHA!!!
    You guys are desperate aren't you.
    Comparing Appkes To Oranges...

    Here's the thing,,
    CMP has a verified TERRIBLE RECORD with how it deals with its customers when there is a problem. (JD Powers).
    First off they create customer problems by their incompetence.
    Then, instead of fixing the issue, they go pay off a Gov agency so they don't have to changed their ways.
    It's as if they are horrible on purpose....
    It's called "They Don't Care About Their Customers".
    It's called Arrogance.
    And a Foreign Company "to boot" !!

    After they have spent Millions Lying To Us,,
    NO TO CMP.

  3. Apples... I really don't give a darn about either... I don't ski and I have no problem with my electric service... I have heard so much about all the damage the line would do that I tend to think this project should be of concern to the tree huggers also ... I do know that the CMP owner is from away... and also that a lot of the anti line people are not Mainers either...

  4. "How much wood is harvested in the state?

    The Maine Forest Service estimates that some 500,000 acres of forest is harvested each year, with about six million cords of wood removed. The wood harvest has remained largely stable for several years."

    Different sources publish different figures. That may be because they use different methods to make those estimates. Having seen charts that show figures going back many decades, to periods when paper production was at its peak for instance, I know that estimates as high as 500,000 are not unreasonable. Harvests have declined as the industries that rely upon it has.

  5. One of the factors that prompted Massachusetts to consider adding capacity to their electric grid was the cold snap of 2017 - 2018. During it the grid ran their natural gas fired electric facilities at capacity, utilized all the liquid natural gas they had in storage, and depleted fuel oil stores to such an extent that many residents found themselves unable to afford to heat their homes. Greenhouse gas emissions tripled during this extended period of intense cold because 30% of the energy required to get them through it had to come from fuel oil.

    New England has a limited supply of natural gas. The pipelines simply can't be forced to provide more. A bit more of the fuel can be stored in liquid natural gas storage facilities, but that too is limited. In other words, if they are not able to supplement capacity with energy from Hydro Quebec they will often send elevated levels of greenhouse gases and pollution our way.

    On top of the greenhouse gas/pollution concerns is cost. Shortages in fuel supply south of us impacts our own supply in time, driving prices up with it. You can oversimplify the matter if it makes you feel better about the position you've taken thus far, but you'll still be affected by those factors you choose to ignore.

  6. Bob, The figures are all over the place because there is no pinpoint accurate way to count them. Some agencies use the 66ft x 660ft acre, others use the survey acre 4840 square yards based on 1 meter where 39.37 inches is a yard. Also an acre is a measurement of area, a mile is a measurement of distance.

  7. A dam?? Doesn’t anyone think of the helpless salmon?? Mon dieu!!

  8. HB - let's just say that the figures Bob produced were documented from the MFS website. Maybe they know the number of acres harvested during 2017. And, yes, 10 square chains = 1 acre and so does 43,560 sq ft. But who's counting? The point here is that Bob was only talking about phase 1. The drawings submitted by cmp for the corridor actually reflect a 53.5 mile long, 300 foot wide ROW, which is approximately 1926 acres of clearcut. Nice, hey? Then let's look at the remaining "completed" corridor which is actually going to expand to 300 feet as well and sometimes 400 feet according to the drawings. This will add another 1600 acres, more or less. A 3500 acre clearcut treated with herbicides and which will remain clearcut in perpetuity is not my idea of a good thing.

  9. HB did you get your math skills from some type of modern math or from cmp's billing department

  10. Everyone, please don’t forget that there are THREE other options for this corridor:
    1. Along an existing DC route that Hydro Quebec likes to promote
    2. Along an approved and permitted corridor through Vermont
    3. From a proposed line to New York City into Massachusetts

    Impact studies should be considering the options that exist other than through Maine. This corridor will have little to no benefit to Maine.

  11. Ozerki, If the corridor is not your idea of a good thing, then the interstate must really stick in your craw, eh? All 300 miles of it, 300ft wide in places, 1000ft wide in others, 200ft tall cell towers every other mile. Or maybe it really doesn't bother you, it is after all, on the eastern side of the state, so it doesn't have to be looked at or heard by the folks in western Maine, I bet the folks stuck living beside it, hate the thing. I think we need a referendum to have I-95 ripped up and allow it to return to its natural state, we have Rt. 1 so we don't really need I-95, it costs more to maintain it than it's worth anyway.

    And the letter's author's figures aren't accurate either, He cites, 2017 as the latest figures, which he got wrong as well. 2018 figures are available and have been since 2018-19.

    Here, numbers from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

    Clearcuts: 22,741 acres in 2017. 23,033 acres in 2018, Landowners owning more than 100,000 acres in Maine created 89% of all clearcut acreage (20,560 acres).
    Average clearcut size in 2018 was 27 acres, a 1% increase over 2017. Landowners owning more than 100,000 acres had an average clearcut size of 36 acres. Landowners owning less than 100,000 acres had an average clearcut size of 14 acres. 51 clearcuts larger than 75 acres were created in 2018.

    Total acreage harvested:

    2009. 395,913. 2010. 443,169. 2011. 444,410. 2012. 443.714. 2013. 415,255. 2014. 424,453. 2015. 400,832. 2016. 341,318. 2017. 338,088. 2018. 342,462.
    Franklin county had 2,686 acres cleared, Somerset had 6,182 acres cleared.

    So the NECEC, would be less acres, according to Ozerki(claimed 3500 acres), than the 8,868 acres that were cut in just Franklin and Somerset in 2018, and is nowhere near the state total of 23.033 acres.

    Bob needs to go recheck his figures, he claimed a 29 acre average in 2017, but the 27 acre average in 2018 was a 1% increase over 2017, how then if Bob used the data from the MDACF can his 2017 number be higher than the 2018 number, when the 2018 number is higher by 1% than the 2017 number?

    Oh, side note. 15,457 acres of the 342,462 acres in 2018 were sprayed with herbicides, hey that's more than the NECEC as well, and the list the MDACF has is only as complete as the number of landowners who are required to report their cuttings, which are those who are doing big thinning cuts, clearcuts and those who are going to repurpose the land, people thinning an acre or so for firewood to sell or supply themselves are not required to report their cuttings, so taking that into account, so the 400,000 acre estimate claimed to be given by CMP by Bob is probably closer to the actual number than the 342,462 acres stated by the MDACF data.

    Taxed enough, Google "US survey acre" then google meters to inches, that should clear up any confusion you have.

  12. HB - the primary difference is that the corridor land will NOT regenerate enough to become merchantable again for the life of the corridor, unlike most cutover land, which grows back to natural regeneration. Secondly, why would anyone support a project that provides electricity when this same electricity ALREADY comes to the New England grid via an already-existing route? This is probably one of the differences between I95 and the corridor. Yes, it does stick in my craw that we have these highways but building another one that duplicates the existing one might piss me off a bit more and THAT is the point. Why do we really want to make a 3500 acre clear cut when we really get no benefit from this harvest? Thirty-five cents a month off our bills? That's quite an incentive but I'll hold out for one dollar a month savings. (just kidding in case you were wondering). You cite figures of all of the annual cuts - great. You might want to mention how these annual cuts are dipping into growing stock for future potential higher quality wood and how the value of the forest is being reduced because the 'accelerated cutting plans' supported by most companies is based on the premise that the forest is better managed so we can cut more wood because it will grow back faster. The annual growth of forested land in Maine will have a VERY hard time exceeding one-third of a cord per acre per year and, yet, many of these ACP's project growth beyond the actual capacity (due to Maine's climate). So, let's just agree that clearcutting 3500 acres of land for no good reason is NOT really a great idea.

  13. CMP is Crooked folks.
    How Can the Gov support this Crooked crap?
    This is how they get things done,,,,

    From the BDN today.
    London Economics has been under scrutiny for that study after the Bangor Daily News reported this month the firm won the $500,000 contract despite past work for Emera Maine that should have disqualified it under state rules. It later emerged the firm was working for a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec when it was hired to do a 2018 study on the economic impact of the proposed Central Maine Power corridor, which would bring Hydro-Quebec power to the regional grid.