Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: NECEC ads not honest

Ads supporting Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect have been misleading and dishonest.

One ad claims the opposition is funded by fossil fuel “dark money.” The opposition is a grass roots effort funded by individual contributions.

Another ad claims CMP would bring hydro power to Maine. CMP would transmit hydro power through Maine to Massachusetts.

A recent ad claims 1,600 jobs from NECEC, neglecting to inform that these would be temporary. The same ad touts $1 billion investment in Maine, failing to reveal that Iberdrola, the parent in Spain, and Avangrid, the U.S. Subsidiary, would both accrue profit from NECEC, and that most contractors and employees would come from out-of-state, although CMP embarrassingly has stated recently it would try to prioritize jobs for Maine workers.

John Nicholas
Winthrop

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26 Responses »

  1. CMP is pouring millions into shady advertising while accusing us of being funded by dark money, as John points out.
    On the jobs issue, not only will they be temporary but most of them will go to out of state contractors.
    In the meantime, loggers and business owners in the logging and biomass industry will be laying off "locals" because the "congestion" in the electrical supply line will ensure the largest energy producers can undercut pricing to ensure they manipulate the grid to exclude local biomass.
    I spoke with one such business owner in Strong who indicated 20-25 layoffs of local loggers and chippers, and 10 million dollars of chipping equipment rendered useless.

    So, Maine or Spain is the question at hand.

    #iamdarkmoney

  2. Your Op-Ed is misleading, the NECEC opposition is funded by several out of state corporations, including one in Massachusetts that represents several natural gas companies, natural gas is a fossil fuel. Dark money is money paid by people who wish to remain nameless, such as the natural gas companies using the company in Boston to fund the opposition.

  3. The 'Say No To NECEC' opposition group of well over 5,000 members is COMPLETELY funded by our members. We hold online Facebook auctions, which we donate our own items to, we have a PayPal fund and hold 5 dollar Friday challenges amongst ourselves. My husband and I have personally paid for and donated thousands of signs, stickers and buttons, which many of our members contribute to our PayPal account in exchange for. Local area businesses who are supporting the opposition are helping raise funds by hosting events, donating tee shirts, their time, and money. All of this fund raising is to help pay for the legal fees our group is incurring in our grassroots fight against a multi billion dollar corporation that cares NOTHING about environment, or regular human beings, and everything about their return on their investment.
    If you want to know more, join our Facebook page. Tomorrow is 5 dollar Friday!

  4. As someone wisely commented on another article, “the enemy of my enemy, is my friend”! NIMBY!

  5. There are local people who think this is a grass roots operation, however, that is naive. The real bank behind the junket is various energy brokers and sector entities looking to profit from the disruption/ potentially score their own deal.

    Next Era Energy -Involved in CMP line opposition now. Was sent a cease and desist in the state of Oklahoma last year for promoting wind energy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NextEra_Energy

    Natural Resource Council of Maine - heavily invested/ supported by the wind industry. Their website has white windmills prominently displayed.... One of their biggest donors is Cianbro who is also heavily invested in wind and solar industry and has held contracts for wind construction projects and cont. maintenance .
    https://www.nrcm.org/projects/climate/clean-energy/
    https://www.cianbro.com/Projects-Markets/ProjectDetails/pid/588
    https://www.cianbro.com/Projects-Markets/ProjectDetails/pid/573
    https://www.cianbro.com/Projects-Markets/ProjectDetails/pid/499

  6. Peeve,,
    There is nothing naive about understanding there are many separate groups who oppose the project...
    Why is it so hard to understand that they aren't all friends who oppose... They are not working together.
    They just have a common foe.
    There "IS" A VERY ACTIVE GRASSROOTS GROUP opposing this using locally hard earned not dark money ..
    That has nothing to do with NextEra or any other greedy corporation from "AWAY"... They are a battle for a different day..
    CMON MAN,,, THIS IS EASY STUFF TO UNDERSTAND.

    if course it's also easy to understand why CMP and it's massive spin machine is trying to lump us all together...
    JUST ANOTHER LIE.
    SURPRISE!!! LOL

  7. In regards to Naive Peeve: while those organizations you list are fighting for their own reasons against the CMP project, that doesn't make the CMP project right. And it certainly doesn't negate the thousands and thousands of regular citizens of the state of Maine who are standing up to say that they don't want it, for a multitude of reasons, none of which is going to make any of them rich, except in the sense that they'll maintain the rich beauty and integrity that this beautiful state still has in abundance, especially compared to other states that have let their states be marred by projects like this. This project is intending to put an antiquated type of transmission system through an area that it doesn't have to go through. There were over 40 other bids for this project that would not touch this area. And just because our Grassroots organization does not want this project does not mean that we support wind, which we do not, and it doesn't mean we support more big oil or gas either. We just know this particular project is very bad for Maine.

  8. Well stated and well written Ms. Lyman.

  9. Peeve:
    Cianbro wants this project to get approved because they will get rich off it. I don't dislike Cianbro as a company, but I oppose them on this corridor issue.
    The NRCM does a lot of good environmental work. I disagree with them on Industrial wind, but they are an ally on NECEC.
    I am sure there are other "industries" opposed to the corridor that are donating money for their business interests. Of course there are.
    There are also thousands, I would venture hundreds of thousands, of Mainers who are opposed to the NECEC on a very personal, grassroots level. I am but one of them, and I have donated regularly of time, written testimony and money.

    On the other side you have CMP/Avangrid/Iberdola and Hydro-Quebec with their high paid lobbyists and lawyers using our rate financed dollars to convince anyone that will listen that we should connect an extension cord from Canada to Massachusetts and blow through a beautiful section of Maine. These are for-profit megacorps who care nothing about Maines future, and everything about their own pocketbooks. If you think they will be reducing rates in the future if NECEC comes about, you have another think coming.

    there is NO grassroots support for NECEC only grassroots opposition. And it is huge because we love Maine and know what is at stake.

  10. I am opposed to this project and I haven't been funded by anyone, out of state or in state, bright green money or dark shady money. My neighbors who are opposed are also local, as are my coworkers and acquaintances. I actually cannot bring to mind a single individual that I know personally who has spoken out FOR this project. So no, not all of the opposition is funded by dark money from big power corporations.
    On the other hand, it does seem like a whole lot of the supportive statements are funded by dark money from a big power corporation that is owned by people from far, far away... CMP.

  11. I am not sure why there is really an argument, except the one actually created by cmp. If this project was actually presented honestly, with independent assessments of the economic cost/benefits as well as an environmental impact assessment then we would really have much less to discuss (that is, IF we could actually get independent experts). So far, I only hear 'this is good for Maine' from cmp. The question I have not really had answered is why is it good for Maine? It has been proven that the power from HQ is not really clean. Rate payers will receive roughly 10 CENTS per month rate benefit. Perhaps the allocation for low income people would help, but I can't see it would that much if parced out over 40 years. Maine does NOT get any power but we have to bear the burden of a large clear cut patch that could total as much as 3500 acres. While cmp has stated it won't use herbicides the actual quote is no herbicides while "under construction". They also said something about trying to see whether they could get by with no herbicides, but my guess is the answer will be no. Does anyone here really want herbicides sprayed on these rights-of-way? You know it won't stick to just the corridor. So, cmp gains, Iberdrola scores, Avangrid adds to its change drawer, HQ makes boatloads, and WM&RC (read cmp 'non-profit') already has some and gets a bunch more. Yes, I understand that a few construction companies might gain, but how many people really benefit? Is it the 1600 promised by cmp? Seasonal or full-time with benefits. And, if you don't mind, I really don't trust a company that is under investigation for rate payer fraud. There are even many orgs and companies in MA who don't want this because it then forces MA to step up to find a REAL clean energy source. HQ's contract states that they are not obliged to send power to MA through the NECEC corridor, so this could actually go to MA another way...... hmmm. So, can someone please explain why this is good for Maine? I see it being good for the companies and a few people in Maine, but certainly not Maine in general and certainly not for those areas where the power line will pass.

  12. First, the hydro power from Quebec is clean and green. There are a few Tom saviello types who quote far reaching scenarios and hypotheticals. But in reality, it's the cleanest most economical way to generate power.
    As for maintenance of the line, you all realize most of the line is existing. That means maintenance is already happening. No change there.
    Maine gets it's power from the new England grid. This project will connect hydro Quebec to the new England grid in Lewiston (Maine). From there it's distributed to the grid. The grid Maine is connected to.
    The power will be taking the place of other dirtier sources.
    No, there's not much of a rate reduction. I'm not sure why people are expecting that.
    Yes every town along the route is going to get more tax dollars from CMP. The assessed value of the existing power line is going to go up. No way CMP can avoid that. It's a state value. So each town will receive an increase. More money for the same property with no expense to the town . That's a big win for taxpayers.
    I am not part of CMP. I don't work for anyone involved. I'm just a Maine resident and taxpayer who doesn't fall for the hype that is expressed by people acting emotionally. The facts support this project. Emotions and mis information oppose it.

  13. Eddie, I am sorry to state to you that you are wrong about the hydro power is clean and green, it is not. The inundation of thousands of acres of forest land to make hydro power does NOT make it clean. Studies show that it's not clean and green. (https://thetyee.ca/News/2018/01/24/Megadams-Not-Clean-Green/?fbclid=IwAR1wx2x-T3y0aRe5EB43XNHeph4cH1_f_F-Xqlh64lMxxaQ37G1XAjQoI5s) (visited March 31, 2019). Your comment about Saviello - you mean to say that someone who has more technical knowledge and expertise than you do, right? But, I have to say that clear cutting 3500 acres of land and treating it with herbicides to prevent regeneration is really a swell idea to combat climate change. For the record - 53.5 miles is NEW corridor at 300 feet wide. The remaining 90+ miles is existing corridor but will be expanded from 150 feet wide to 300 feet wide. So, your contention that 'most of the line is existing' is actually wrong. The power is for MA and can actually be transmitted through existing lines via a New York route. And no, every town will NOT get more tax dollars - cmp can avoid paying taxes by 'selling' its land to WM&RC, which is a tax exempt 501c(3) org and this would actually remove land from the tax base and make everyones' taxes skyrocket. No big win for tax payers. Rate payers, yep a whopping 6-10 CENTS a month reduction. wow, maybe I can afford that pack of gum now. And no, facts actually do NOT support this project. cmp and its supporters really don't have facts so they replace that lack of facts with MONEY and influence. frankly, I don't want some Spanish company making a profit from ruining one of the last remaining contiguous forests (un-fragmented) in the US. And particularly I don't trust a company being investigated for rate payer fraud. This process has been a black box with no bona fide independent assessment. I laughingly refer to the London Economics report that was paid for by ....... cmp? Or Maine? An EIA? Nope, not done. So, while 70% of Maine is against this, you seem to fall into a smaller category of Mainers.

  14. I'm in my 60s,, socially and politically conservative. I believe people should generally move on and live their lives without bunch of shenanigans like we see in front of the post office periodically. I've worked my entire life and thanks to God have never needed financial assistance. Happy camper here.
    I'm not some naive radical and protesters generally make me shake head...
    But the thing I detest the most is a bully.
    This thing is being shoved down the throats of the vast majority of Mainers by a bunch of rich Bullies.
    Nothing new or original here but it has gotten my attention and it just plain rubs me the wrong way.
    Despite the millions of spin dollars being shown to convince me "it's good for me",, I just don't see it.

    As Mr Gooley said many months ago, This does not pass the smell test". It stinks worse as time goes on with additional information.
    Now "there" is an indisputable fact.

    You'll never see me in front of the court house but count me as a staunch opposer of this project.
    It's the right thing to do.

  15. Ozerki, 70%? I suppose you have the polling numbers to back up that claim? You called 70% of 1.338 million people? Rates going up? Is all speculation and fear mongering, and lacks any tangible data. Most towns in Maine won't see a dime of the tax money, that's accurate, as the new line doesn't run through them and amounts to, if you pay property taxes in Franklin country, why should people in Aroostook county see any of it. And the WM&RC deal you speak of, is a land swap. WM&RC swaps land for the line to cross the Kennebec with CMP for land on the Dead River. Swapping land for land changes nothing. Cmp still pays taxes on the fair market value of the land on the Kennebec. Maine did away with that whole "Well, I bought this for a $1." thing years ago, so now even swapped goods are taxed based on the fair market value, that goes for every taxable item from ATVs to real estate. And Maine law prevents CMP and similar companies from using privately held land for their business, the new line will be on wholly CMP owned land, like the railroads are, the land they run on is wholly owned by them.

  16. When emotions take over people just don't listen. I said every town along the route. Also if something is already there. It's existing even if you make it bigger. If I build an addition do I have a new house? I can match any study you cite with an equally impressive study showing the opposite when it comes to hydro. But your so vehemently opposed you wouldn't even read it. It's water flowing downhill. Happens every day 24-7 365. No fossil fuels burned. That is a good thing. Tom saviello portraying himself as an educated expert is a joke. He preaches the talking points, rumors and general BS . Not facts and figures. I'm not sure his alterior motive, but he's got some self serving reason for being so angry that people dare question him.

  17. Hrtlss, Yes, that's what I said. Sure, I hate polls like you. So, let's be fair - 70% of those people polled are AGAINST this Corridor. OK, so shoot that full of holes. That changes nothing with the remainder of my comments, but I just love when someone focuses on a small detail and neglects to address the rest. It simply tells me what I need to know - the remainder of what I said is on the mark. Thanks for stepping forward to confirm everything else. Guess you fell into my cleverly laid trap .........

    Let's just agree that this corridor has been rammed down our throats. There has been no real independent assessment (London Economics is not independent btw). Perhaps an EIA? You did fail to bring up the 'dark money' angle. So, I opened the door for that one.

    You really have to be honest and admit that this is not a good deal for Maine. Please tell me the benefits we will receive. No one has ever answered my question: Why is this good for Maine? Don't give me 3500 jobs because it's inaccurate and they are seasonal and not permanent. Perhaps the 10 CENTS a month reduction for rate payers? OK, I'll give you that one. Enjoy talking with you. At least you have an open mind.

  18. Tom Saviello,

    I, and I’m sure many others, want to thank you for the time you’ve spent, all the sound information that you’ve shared, and all the encouragement you’ve given, to the people that are fighting against the NECEC. We appreciate it.

    And not one tear was shed when l wrote that accolade. You know, you pro-NECEC folks, we’re not as emotional as you think.

  19. The sounds of silence,,
    New Governor jumped in the sack for the money and closed the door to her people. There is no defending what she has done.
    A political price has already been paid,,
    Single term and she gets to watch someone come back and untie "her" knots.
    Is there NOT an honest person too choose from??

  20. It was brought to my attention over the weekend that some retired cmp workers have already been paid a bonus as though this is a done deal. He also told me that our grid is going to fail if this doesn’t pass. So I recommended we shut down from the new england grid and only produce power for Maine and was told that Maine doesn’t produce near enough power to run our state for a month. Lies lies lies !!! Maybe Mass wants us his to show their “green” because they are building more natural gas plants and need the offset.

  21. Ozerki, The devil is in the details, you are not that clever, your assessments are nowhere near accurate, save for one that is about who gets the property tax money, the WM&RC is getting a scenic lookout on the Dead River That is a far cry from your claim of CMP turning over the corridor land to the WM&RC to avoid taxes, and I don't care what math book you use, 70% of 1000 people from southern Maine, if such a poll was even conducted, is not evidence of 70% of 1.3 million people being against anything, to prove my point on polls, 300 polls conducted at various times in 2016, 85% of the polls claimed Hillary would win the presidency by at least 50 or more electoral votes, look how that turned out. polls only represent the number of people taking them, and provide no corroborating evidence of the feelings of an entire population, now if Maine only had 1000 people and all 1000 people were called and 70% said no, then I would concede that yes 70% of the people of Maine say no, it still wouldn't do much good, but they can say no.

  22. To Aww,,
    I am actively opposed top this CMP lie.
    in my opinion,,CMP does not deserve our business until they earn it. CMP used to be a respected Maine company. They are not "that" anymore.
    But let's not make this about the "workers"..
    There are many many hard working and honest folks who currently and formerly work for this company.
    If you have a problem with a well paying job that provides a good pension,,we disagree right there.
    I think we need a lot more of those.
    (And no I am not pro Union,,,far from it).
    Please don't drag them into this.

    CMP, Next-Era and far too many big companies are run by board's only interested in the bottom line. And far too many are foreigners, which makes it worse in my opinion.
    They will all fight each other with expensive legal teams to get our money in their pockets,,, any way they can. They will pay off our Governor and with her help spend millions selling more lies to us...

    But if an old retiree gets some extra money then good for them. They probably served the company before it became so corrupt. But either way, Leave them out of it please.

    NO CORRIDOR!!

  23. Well done letter regarding the not green monstrosity know as Hydro-Quebec. This letter focuses mostly on harm to the gulf of Maine and does not touch on the many other environmental negatives like tree loss and methane emissions.

    To: Maine Legislators
    From: Stephen M Kasprzak
    Date: May 13, 2019
    Subject: Reasons to Support LD 640
    In the debate over CMP’s proposed NECEC and its impact on mitigating climate change,
    there has been no discussion on how Hydro-Québec has used its reservoir hydroelectric dams to
    increase winter river flows by more than 800 percent!
    Hydro-Québec has maximized winter hydrogeneration by releasing discharges equivalent to
    the spring runoff during the naturally dormant winter and thereby eradicating the historic spring
    flood with all its environmental benefits to the receiving seas.
    Mr. Graeme Hamilton wrote the following: “The Hudson Bay watershed covers a third of
    Canada, from southern Alberta to Baffin Island. This water – the total flow into the bays is
    estimated at 30,000 cubic meters per second or 13 Niagara Falls – has caused politicians like
    Quebec’s Robert Bourassa to view the otherwise ignored north as a mega-watt-mine.” (October
    7, 1991 Ottawa Citizen newspaper article “Hydroelectric Power – Bays of Plenty – Scientists
    fear cumulative tinkering with Hudson and James Bays will create an environmental monster.”
    An equilibrium had evolved over the millennia as the fresh water of the spring runoff “acts
    as a pump on salt water, drawing in salt water from the sea through deep gorges and pulling it up
    to mix with the new water on top.
    This churning of the deep-running salt water brings to the surface the nutrients from near the
    ocean floor which fish and other forms of life need for food.
    The relationship of the two systems meant that the strongest flows of water, coming as they
    did in the spring, helped bring near the surface abundant quantities of food and nutrients.
    But the damming of rivers has changed that neat interaction.” (Bruce Little, 3/5/1974
    Windsor Star article Hydropower: Clean or Dirty?)
    In less than 25 years, between 1969-1993, Hydro-Québec has created an environmental
    monster, which has turned this equilibrium upside down and starved many fisheries to near
    depletion and warmed the ocean and atmosphere.
    The Gulf of Maine’s ecosystem includes all of Quebec’s rivers, Gulf of St. Lawrence, James
    and Hudson Bays and the Labrador Sea.
    The rivers in Quebec are basically dormant from November thru March and the buildup of
    snow and ice thru the winter represents stored energy which has historically melted and fueled
    the spring runoff.
    Stephen M Kasprzak
    May 13, 2019
    Supporting LD 640
    Page 2
    For example, the historic and natural winter flow of the LaGrande River into James Bay was
    17,600 cubic feet of water per second and Hydro Quebec has increased this to 141,000 cu. ft./sec
    (McCully 2001)
    In order to store water for an eight fold increase in the LaGrande’s winter flow, “HydroQuébec has eradicated the spring flood and reduced the flow form 177,000 cu. ft. per sec to
    53,000 cu. ft. per sec.” (McCully 2001)
    The spring freshet (flood) on the La Grande River has been reduced 70 percent by HydroQuébec and the typical reduction on all its dams has been between 50 to 70 percent. I have been
    conservative and used 50% for this discussion and 50 percent reduction would be loss of 6.5
    Niagara Falls flowing out of Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait.
    Before these dams were built, the spring runoff lowered the salinity at Cabot Strait by as
    much as 3 percent from mid-May through mid-October as measured by Dr. Neu, a Canadian
    oceanographer, using his 1960-1976 salinity data in his 1982 reports.
    Before 1969, the Gulf of Maine was the beneficiary of four month long fresh water offshore
    tsunami’s out of the Gulf of St Lawrence and Hudson Bay. I use the word “tsunamis” to portray
    the colossal size of this natural freshwater wave being powered by the spring runoff.
    The average volume of the Gulf of St. Lawrence tsunami was calculated in the 1970s by Dr.
    Hans Neu, at 282,300 cubic feet per second, which is equivalent to 3 and one-third Niagara
    Falls! “Niagara Falls has a flow rate of 84,756 cubic feet per second, which is the highest rate of
    flow for any water fall in the world!” (Wikipedia) This amount of flow would fill Maine’s
    Moosehead Lake in seven and a half days. Moosehead Lake is 118 square miles in size with an
    average depth of 55 feet.
    From 1969 to 1993, Hydro-Québec built 7 mega-reservoir hydroelectric facilities, and the
    amount of energy and water in 10 Niagara Falls flowing for 4 months, has been removed
    annually from the Gulf of Maine’s natural water cycle since 1993 by Hydro-Québec and
    Manitoba reservoir dams (6.5 from Hudson Bay and 3.5 from Gulf of St. Lawrence).
    These colossal water flows were the driving force pumping onshore tsunami’s of strong
    upwelling currents transporting dissolved silicate and other essential nutrients of the deep sea
    waters up onto the Labrador, Northeast Newfoundland and Scotia Shelves and into the Gulfs of
    Maine and St. Lawrence via the Northeast and Laurentian Channels, respectively.
    The advocates of hydroelectricity blame the declines in the fisheries on climate change and
    ignore the epic amount of water and energy which has been suppressed by reservoir
    hydroelectric facilities.

  24. @ misguided I was only pointing out what they told me. Didn’t mean to drag them down in your eyes. This person received thousands of dollars I took it as a bribe to be sure they supported the company not the people or state. It just shows me the greed and corruption with cmp.

  25. @Awww,
    Your assumptions make no sense.
    You're saying the retirees were paid off so they would support CMP,,,
    For what purpose exactly?
    Are they voting on something the rest of us can't?
    Can anyone else verify this suspicious bonus(as if it's any of our business)..
    Seems like you are "over reaching" to smear CMP.
    NEWSFLASH,,, YOU DON'T HAVE TO.
    They give plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike them.
    Let's keep things "real" , shall we.

    I detest CMP and Next-Era and their methods.
    No corridor!!
    No more wind turbines!!
    No frickin More!!
    NO!!

  26. Hrtlss, you did not answer my question. I already essentially that I hated polls too so your poll rant is misplaced. Why is this project good for Maine? And wm&rc could ‘buy’ the land from cmp. This is a real possibility. What else will they do with $6.5 million that the cmp mou provides? And again - why is this good for Maine?

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