Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Maine is not for sale

Massachusetts wants to claim they are fueled with green, renewable energy and counting on imported hydropower to fulfil part of that claim. Central Maine Power via its owners, Avangrid and Iberdrola want to make that happen by traversing undeveloped western Maine. This will be good for Maine if:

·You are comfortable with the claim that Hydro Quebec has a surplus of waterpower just waiting to be exported. See- www.nrcm.org/maine-environmental-news/new-study-shows-cmp-transmission-project-would-not-reduce-climate-changing-carbon-pollution/

·You do not mind additional flooding of Canadian wildlands, release of methane and mercury, along with displacement of tribal people. See “power struggle link below”

·The $6.24 (only once) benefit for CMP customers is satisfactory as negotiated in the Stipulation package approved by Governor Mills, as compared to the $5 million per month that the CMP associates will profit from this project. Sources: CMP “Something for Everyone “Card $140 million/40 years/560,000 customers and Morning Sentinel Maine Compass by Dan Dolan “CMP project won’t benefit Maine- “Wall Street Analysts estimate CMP- Avangrid will earn around $60 million per year.”

·You believe that the project is “Necessary and Convenient’ for Maine as declared by our Public Utilities Commission. Ruling made May 3, 2019

·You believe that Maine has been treated fairly in the easement across State land for $100 per acre/ year vs. the initial payment to the Passamaquoddy tribe of $1 million for an easement and over $50,000 per acre for land benefitting Yale University.

·You believe that the California fire situation cannot be duplicated here in Maine by exposing forestland to extremely high voltage transmission lines. Source: Current news headlines

·You believe that increased tax revenue to some Maine towns justifies destructive results in other towns.

·You think that Massachusetts ( America) is better off by exporting forgone real estate tax, income tax, and high tech jobs to Canada and Spain. Source- contract with CMP to purchase HQ power and CMP is wholly owned by Avangrid, based in Connecticut, which is 80% owned by Iberdrola, based in Spain

·You believe that the Hydro Quebec waterpower, produced by means illegal in New England, will not have a negative effect on our domestic power production. See DEP Regulation- visit sites the listed below. While they are dated the same concerns exist today http://articles.latimes.com/1989-01-15/news/mn-762_1_electric-power/2

https://www.nytimes.com/1992/01/12/magazine/power-struggle.html .

·You agree that the 38 full time jobs created by this project will be of irreplaceable benefit. 38 Jobs source is CMP

·Should you believe that this is the only opportunity for hydro- power to be gained in the New England Grid, please consider this alternative. The project is already permitted in Vermont and ready to go under Lake Champlain and then buried along and under existing roads until entering Massachusetts. It does not have to go through Maine; it is just cheaper for Massachusetts via the CMP low bid, and we would continue to have a thousand acres of trees sequestering carbon plus any environmental benefit the project may create.

On Election Day, please seek out the folks be gathering signatures for a 2020 referendum question. That question will require our Public Utilities Commission to revoke the Certificate of Need and Convenience issued for the project last spring. This project has been forced upon Maine via long distance outside interest and is not of benefit to Maine. Please let those pushing the project know that Maine is not for sale. Make your voice heard by signing the petitions, creating a choice in 2020. Thank you for reading – and signing!

Bob Haynes
Skowhegan

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27 Responses »

  1. Maine gets imported power from HydroQuebec AND Nova Scotia Power, the hypocrisy of people who are anti-corridor is never ending. If Maine generated and used 100% of it's own power, then yes by all means, complain. But when Maine uses power brought by lines that run across MA, NH, VT and Canada, you can't very well say much when somebody wants to run a line through our state to another.

    Green energy may be renewable, it is however not very practical especially in the US. in the 1800-1900s, green energy might have been practical, back when lights were the only thing powered by electricity but now, no. Even countries who thought that green was the way to go are now cutting back on green energy. Every car in the US could be electric, our electricity could be 100% green, and it still wouldn't make a dent in global emissions because Asia puts out more than 80% of all global emissions.

  2. Thank you for the article.

    No we are not for sale.

    We got hood winked with wind turbines by Angus King and his greedy croonies..
    Now Janet Mills and her back room deals are trying to hoodwink us again with this crooked CMP SCAM.

    Despite the million dollars CMP is spending to spread lies and RAM this thing down our throats,,
    We won't be bought.

    And we're not going to stand around and watch them ruin the best part of Maine just they can get rich and Massachusetts can your on every light switch and waste energy.

    We won't be bought or taken over.

    Thank you for the NO Corridor efforts.

  3. Hrtlss,

    The whole premise of the now up and running Citizens Referendum is based exactly on what you stated.
    “You can’t very well say much if....”

    Hrtlss, we no NECEC folks have been listening to that same old tired line for a couple of years now.
    The fact remains that we can very well say a lot. That we can very well research the pros and cons of the NECEC and take a stance. Anyone can. And in retrospect, if we had believed what we had been told by certain political figures, CMP spokespersons, and out of town “qualified” scientists we very well wouldn’t have said very much.
    But...
    You see Hrtlss, if you really read the letter above, it lays it all out for you in a concise manner. It simply removes that smokescreen created by corporate greed.
    So....
    On November 5th there will be tables set up at over 100 polling places across this state to get signatures to bring the NECEC to a statewide vote in 2020. Please, if you can, take some time and come see us at the Citizens Referendum table on the Corridor. You can sign or not, but you’ll certainly have a say.

  4. Well written and factual.

  5. I heard a CMP spokesperson on wvom, and he claimed that in 40 years when this corridor contract is up the poles will be pulled and the wire will be rolled up. I mean really ?!!!!! Do these people really think we are stupid enough to believe this load of bull ? I will be signing my name on Tuesday and I hope enough others will as well. We don’t need another king wind power reach around from a bunch of lying business men and crooked politicians. Don’t forget this in 2022 when we get to get rid of Mills !!!

  6. The people are earnng their to right to choose. This well written letter contains many truths. Petitions are circulating, we need around 80 k, and we will get there. Grassroots work for Mainers, by Mainers.

  7. Terry, Would you like people through referendum, to tell you that you couldn't salt your driveway because it washed into the soil and changed the PH levels of the dirt making it unsuitable for earthworms? Of course you wouldn't because it is your land and you can do as you see fit. But I am so happy that the so called "intelligent" people are so ready to tell others what they can do with their own land, simply because those "intelligent" people are not rich, that is a mighty petty reason for thinking you actually have dominion over the NECEC. So tell me Terry, how many millions do you have tied up in the NECEC? 10, 12, more?

  8. One slight correction- Massachusetts has actually begun to balk at this project, too. Seems that HydroQuebec is not offering them the kind of green energy they were expecting... and perhaps they are sympathetic to Mainers who don't want this corridor, too. Lets not make this a Maine vs Mass fight, it's really a people vs corporate interest fight.

  9. Salt my driveway...
    If the salt I was using on my driveway was killing the Earth worms,, I wouldn't know it until I had no bait to catch fish..
    Because I love fish, I would find another way to keep my driveway clear..... Just so I could catch fish.

    I would change my ways because it was bad for me.
    Just like the CMP scam is bad for Me.
    That's why we are changing the course of this project.
    It is BAD FOR ME.

  10. Hrtlss,

    Please read paragraph five as it pertains to your “own their own land” case scenario. CMP doesn’t own it all.
    And please don’t forget that CMP, AVANGRID, Iberdola has to get certificates from other agencies just so they can build that line. So your private land /ownership justification doesn’t hold weight in this instance. Even CMP knows that. That’s why the corporations involved are jumping through hoops to get those certificates. If it was just a case of “owning” the land they wouldn’t be facing a citizens referendum.

    As for your “hating the rich man” theory. It’s just a theory. I don’t mind sharing my world with rich people. I mind sharing my world with corporate trickery. For instance, CMP is going to play the climate change card just to play on people’s emotions when this does come up for a vote in 2020. What’s funny about that Hrtlss is that CMP lawyers have already made it clear that the Corridor is NOT about climate change. Making money is one thing. Lying to make money is another. Do you understand the dilemma?

    I don’t have much money tied up in the NECEC. Just a few dark grassroots dollars here and there. But l do have a lot of my time tied up in this. As do the rest of the NO folks. We know what we’re trying to save. And we’ll get it done in 2020.

  11. Well, HB - guess it's time to weigh in, I have a few minutes ......HB States: "Maine gets imported power from HydroQuebec AND Nova Scotia Power, the hypocrisy of people who are anti-corridor is never ending." Would you mind, HB, elaborating on this hypocrisy? Ozerki: First question: the power HQ and Nova Scotia power provides - what route is used? Second question - this corridor is supposed to provide 'clean power' for MA. Did you know that HQ already provides power to MA through other routes and the NECEC will just provide another route so that HQ can choose by which route to send power to maximize their profits? Why is the NECEC needed? .... HB states: " If Maine generated and used 100% of it's own power, then yes by all means, complain. But when Maine uses power brought by lines that run across MA, NH, VT and Canada, you can't very well say much when somebody wants to run a line through our state to another." Ozerki: What type of lines bring in power? Isn't it true that VT and NH rejected the NECEC? Moreover, there would likely be much less resistance if cmp/avangrid/iberdrola proposed a route underground, which is industry standard for the type of line proposed (HVDC) - so why didn't they propose that??? Think we all know why.

    HB States: "Green energy may be renewable, it is however not very practical especially in the US. in the 1800-1900s, green energy might have been practical, back when lights were the only thing powered by electricity but now, no." Ozerki: where did you get this idea? You seem to take the approach that green energy will replace ALL sources of energy. Anyone knows that's not going to happen. However, any reduction or neutralization that can occur from green energy is a plus. The real answer here is that greedy fossil fuel companies like koch industries (minus 1 koch) are the reason. HB states: "Even countries who thought that green was the way to go are now cutting back on green energy." Ozerki: Please name 4 and provide reasons and links. HB States: "Every car in the US could be electric, our electricity could be 100% green, and it still wouldn't make a dent in global emissions because Asia puts out more than 80% of all global emissions." Ozerki - this from a guy who trashes electric car life cycles and now goes on to state that because Asia produces emissions then why should we try to clean us things? Be reminded HB that our president in all of his grace and wisdom is pulling us out of the Paris Climate Accord so I imagine that we can just continue to trash pretty much everything. Perhaps some of us Mainers are taking a stand with this NECEC project. A few of us actually care what happens to the natural resource base in Maine and see the NECEC as simply another source of $$$ in pocket for a few. Do you like to see more blatant corruption than we already have? Personally, if I can help stop one of those obvious cases I will. Apparently, you are ok with corruption and cronyism?

  12. ozerki get a little long winded but I agree,,,,

    Fighting against the CMP Corridor is simply the right thing to do.

    The CMP SCAM IS "JUST PLAIN WRONG".

    Pretty simple.

  13. How controversial....people on the Left AND the RIGHT coming together to say NO to yet MORE out of state interests who want to buy our state without our consent, purely for the profit margin with minimal if any 'green' effects, most of which are based solely on 'feel good' fluff.

    Imagine what could be accomplished if this happened more often.

  14. Ozerki, There is a thing called abstract thought, and surprisingly it is not very common, I however am one of the few people capable of abstract thought, which means I can see things from multiple angles whereas most people only see things from one angle. Btw, I used the electric vehicle analogy as an example, here are some numbers. between 1991 and 2017 America's CO emissions rose 0.04%, China on the other hand during the same time frame increased its emissions output by 375%.

    Four, here's five countries who have limited green energy, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland, and Sweden. Denmark stopped investing in "green" energy in favor of a massive waste to energy plant, that the other 4 countries now take their waste to in exchange for reduced rate energy and some money, by getting power from Denmark, they have limited their need to clear land for "green" energy resources and as a result, they have more trees and grasses that actually absorb carbon emissions, which is better for the environment, and less need for landfills. I hope this answered your question.

    NH and VT, the route through NH would have taken the line through 2 state parks and a chunk of the White Mountains National Forest, no wonder they said no. VT already has two HydroQuebec lines and didn't want another one.

    About the NECEC, in a boreal forest, grasses don't thrive, but trees do, grasses grow quicker and absorb CO at a higher rate than trees do, a 54 mile long lawn is better for co absorption than trees, because trees only grow a little every year but grasses like weeds grow very quickly. Plus Maine is a winter state, which means that all of our plant life goes into a sort of stasis during the winter and doesn't absorb anything.

    Most naysayers only look at things from the money side of the NECEC, "Well CMP gets millions, what does Maine get out of it?" which is probably the dumbest excuse for not supporting the NECEC ever. The NECEC doesn't belong to the people of Maine, it belongs to AVANGRID, the people of Maine have no money invested and as such should get no money out of it, If you don't like it, tough. Maine is not a communist state, the people don't get to decide what private business do or don't do.

  15. Terry, CMP has secured the rights of way and the land they need for the NECEC, they have 3 out of 5 permits they need, the 2 they need are the Presidential permit, this comes from the Army Corp of Engineers, the second is from the EPA, the reason they don't yet have the Presidential permit yet is because the A.C.E was waiting for the EPA to sign off on the project, there was a hang up about something to do with surface water runoff and something to do with the poles, I didn't fully inquire about it but I got the rough idea. CMP normally uses wooden poles, the NECEC will use metal ones, creosote is organic, rust is not. Once the EPA signs off, the A.C.E will sign off, some time in the spring with construction to begin in the summer, so really a ballot question for the 2020 general election is rather pointless.

  16. You green hypocrites whine about trees being removed and traded for grasses on a power line yet thrilled to see hundreds of acres on the York farm and others devastated to install solar panels. I doubt these panels or windmills are as ‘net green’ as hydropower. Tell Alexa to turn the lights off for you and go to sleep....

  17. The people actually DO get to decide what private businesses do or don't do. The United States hasn't had a free market in over 100 years, Hrtlss.

    Straws and plastic bags are 'legal' products, but made illegal...get it?

  18. OverRegulated, These are non-issues, The bags can still be used, the state left in a loophole, single use bags can be used by stores IF they put in a recycling bin for people to throw them into should they choose to. And this wouldn't be the first time that congress has overstepped its authority unchecked by the people(the real reason the people's referendum was intended, to keep congress and the governor in check) these issues are the perfect reason for a people's referendum or people's veto, more people support the use of plastic bags than don't support their use. Instead, people would rather use the referendum for stupid stuff rather than for practical reasons.

  19. HB, Just for the record:

    One acre of grassland/weeds absorbs the equivalent CO2 from 4 reasonably active people;
    One acre of woodland with trees spaced ~10 feet apart neutralize CO2 from 24 people.

  20. Ozerki, Just for the record, when a tree is processed and burned for heat or turned into lumber and the trimmings get burned in the boiler, that releases the built up carbon in the wood. Grass on the other hand, actually release the carbon they hold into the ground, where it is for the most part, stabilized, either by fungi that absorb it or eaten by earthworms, it's trapped in the soil. Most grass dies every winter and grows back every summer, a study from UCDavis found that grasslands and rangelands are the more efficient carbon sinks because most of their carbon is stored underground, and tends to stay there and is not subject to burning that releases large amounts of carbon that is stored in the trees. The fires in CA in 2018 for example released 69 million tons of CO2, ALL of the electricity production in CA in 2017, released 76 million tons. And guess what...CA is burning again and releasing even more carbon.

  21. Hrtlss,

    CMP/AVANGRID/Iberdola would think nothing of taking land by eminent domain if their extension cord from Hydro Quebec to Massachusetts was cut The spokesman for AVANGRID has stated as such. Fair? I mean, that’s someone’s private property. Right? It’s not like CMP hasn’t done it before.

    And as far as construction. Sure construction could begin but.....
    Do you think Massachusetts would want to take a chance on putting money into starting construction on a billion dollar project when a vote less then 6 months later, could shut it down?

    Think business economics Hrtlss. This isn’t Vegas.

  22. Terry, Eminent domain has to be used for public purposes, ie. parks, roads, passenger railroads, the NECEC is not for public use.

    Two words, grandfather clause, if work is begun in say, June and the law makes the ballot in November 2020, laws are not retroactive, if CMP has the all the permits they need, the line is a go and gets grandfathared as work commenced prior to the law being written and passed(should it pass), plus congress could hold the law up for as long as they want, even veto it. Checks and balances, the people check congress, congress checks the people, and just because it makes it on to the ballot, that doesn't mean it is a lawful law. The marijuana law for example, passed because congress let it pass, they could have just as easily said "Due to marijuana being illegal under federal law, the state of Maine in keeping with federal law, veto the marijuana law voted and passed by referendum." Obama and the Keystone pipeline, Obama pulled the presidential permit(Trump gave it back), once the NECEC gets the nod from the feds as it crosses state and federal borders, it is out of the state's hands anyway, and only the president can stop it, which he probably won't.

  23. Wow...I've been reading all these comments. And I've learned stuff I didn't know. Truth or Fiction? Not sure but all part of the argument. FYI: I signed the petition on Tuesday.

  24. HB, well you have done it again. Nice habit, but it really doesn't work too well with me. I suppose I might point out that I NEVER mentioned processing wood. My point was to LEAVE the 3500 acres of trees where they were, so while your information is interesting, as it is quite a lot, is not really on point with the issue I raised.

    In your other comments - this 'whataboutism' is pretty much out of hand and is really quite disturbing - also a giant red herring.

    The whole mess boils down to the fact that NO EIA has been required and for a project of this magnitude with the environmental costs involved there NEEDS to be an EIA. I also still do not get why you are somewhat or even really pissed off at the obvious corruption within this project. (not that most large projects don't have that element imbedded in them). Bury the damn thing as per industry standards and a lot of the opposition slinks away. But, the idea here is to maximize profits at a huge cost to Mainers. CMP can't even get its billing straight. I don't want these guys changing my light bulbs let alone build this ridiculous extension cord. This 'for profit' project deserves MORE and not less scrutiny.

  25. The people have awoken!

    NIMBYMOFOS!

  26. Hrtlss,

    CMP has been telling us the NECEC is for public use for quite some time now. I think you’ll also find that eminent domain can be used in this instance. Think Flagstaff.

    As for construction. The key here? You said it, if CMP has all the permits. The language on the Citizens Referendum addresses that. It’s basically telling the MPUC to withdraw its permit because the NECEC is not in the “public” interest of Maine.

    And it isn’t.....

  27. Ozerki, My light bill was $61 last month, I can't complain about that. Multiple EIA have been done, the impact is minimal, there are no endangered or protected species in the area, the line won't interfere with the free flow of water, the herbicides are not harmful to wildlife. The single biggest hang up the naysayers have in regards to the line and the environment is, they will have to look at it. Even you yourself have not come up with a single reason for the need of another EIA, nor have you had one thing that the EPA should address as a potential problem area, all you keep talking about is the billing problems and that really is not a problem as ALL customers of any utility or service provider will have a problem with the billing. Funny thing is though, nobody complains if their bill is too low, why is that do you suppose?

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