Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Response to “A Critical Commodity”

Response to “A Critical Commodity” July 11 by Clayton McKay

I agree with your description of electricity as a critical commodity Mr. McKay, and I would like to add another dimension to the critical nature. Politicians in New England are folding to the constant nimbyism of their electorate regarding local electric generation. Why not? Hydro Quebec is offering power and even money to persuade New England to pay the Province of Quebec high rates (as compared to rates charged in the Province). As the percentage of electric consumption from this source increases, so does our dependence. Hydro Quebec needs New England money to subsidize rates for provincial customers. Many businesses in New England compete with those in Quebec. It would logical for the province to manipulate rates to their business favor, at the expense of the New England economy.

New England needs to take responsibility for its own generation needs and not allow the region to be a victim of foreign generation. Our President has indicated a concern over electrical control devices in an Executive Order. I suspect he will also realize foreign generated power in not in the interest of our country either. Electricity remains a critical commodity- too critical to rely on foreign generation and in the NECEC scenario, delivery handled by a corporation based in another country, Spain in this case, via Iberdrola- the majority owner of Avangrid and CMP.

Bob Haynes, Skowhegan

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6 Responses »

  1. That's quite an interesting, negative description to what has been a historically solid union between Canada and New England. Hydro Quebec and New Brunswick supply thousands of megawatts of "critical commodity" to all six New England states and have been for decades. I guess a hermit state is more suitable to your aspirations. 

  2. Thank you Bob. Please, now, drop the mic! There is absolutely zero reason why Maine should not focus all of its efforts on being the supplier rather than the conduit of energy generation.

  3. We are here discussing a plan to bring hydroelectric energy to New England from Hydro Quebec because effort after effort to generate power from local resources have been defeated by campaigns like the one that opposes this project. These efforts include a project which was harness the tidal forces of the Bay of Fundy, that would have provided enough energy for Maine to become a net exporter of power, and an offshore wind project that would have allowed Massachusetts to become self sufficient.

    Every time an effort is made to utilize our resources to generate power
    an opposition effort is funded by those foreign petroleum interests which stand to lose profit. This support arrives in the form of dark money, propping up opposition efforts that are more concerned with defeating the project than they are with discussing it honestly. Through hyperbole and misleading statements they convince the electorate to turn against these projects, ultimately leaving the petroleum interests behind that dark money to continue raking in their profits to the detriment of our health and that of our environment.

    In this case the opposition effort also received support from those looking to distract voters from election concerns that threaten politicians like Susan Collins who might face more resistance if voters were not distracted by this issue. This is why you'll find Democrats split on the issue statewide while Republicans are united against it. It was a smart political move, as it redirected a great deal of the energy Democrats ended the last election cycle with.

  4. Jay - I think that you must have missed the day at Brown when they taught everyone to NEVER finish a sentence with a PREPOSITION!

    BTW - thought you might like these:

    Hydro-Quebec is building the 4 dam Romaine complex on the Romaine River, will flood 107 square miles (68,480 acres). It does not have a huge reservoir but is destroying this much forest, river and wetlands.

    In terms of warming potential, adding this much extra methane to the atmosphere since 2000 is akin to putting 350 million more cars on the world's roads or doubling the total emissions of Germany or France. "We still haven't turned the corner on methane," said Jackson, a professor of Earth system science in Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth).

  5. Maine lawmakers and their sidekicks, the NRCM, are focusing on home grown electricity in the form of solar panels and wind mills, which is all the more reason for " Critical Resources" such as hydro power to backstop the miserable performance of solar and wind. NRCM opposes hydro power installations in Maine and the lawmakers always concur with the NRCM. Yes, Maine is a member participant of the New England grid, therefore NECEC benefits all of New England, including Maine.
    For those who would propose going alone, try installing solar panels and wind mills to supply your household electricity needs and cut the New England cord.

  6. Clayton the problem with this route is the “wilderness” it runs through is laid out for future wind farms, that has already been proven. I say if this comes through then we don’t erect one more windmill in this state and no more solar farms that can’t pay for themselves without federal aid just as wind. People like to complain about oils being subsidized but when you break down cost per kilowatt oil is pennies to dollars for this “green energy” crap we are littering our mountains and farm land with !!! Let it run underground so it can’t be so easily tied into. That is the whole reason they don’t have construction started in Vermont already well that and we are the “cheaper” date.