Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: The people are speaking on NECEC; is anyone listening?

By an overwhelming margin, Jay has become the 17th town to vote against  New England Clean Energy Connect Project. At this point, there has been no popular support for this project but plenty of public opposition. Yet, even as we learn of more scientific criticism and opposition mounts, the Governor digs in. She has now vetoed two related bills from her own party, one to give local towns along the route a voice in the matter.

Why is she so adamant? Try as I might I cannot see this as simply environmental concern at the Blaine House. The Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine’s premier environmental organization and leader in climate research and policy, has come out against the project after hearings and independent review. Their position and work should give her plenty of cover to let our communities have their say. The governor chooses instead to stand by CMP, a company now too well known for its deceptive billing practices and dishonesty. How or why can we and why does she believe their science, job forecasts, and economic promises?

Fifty years ago Quebec's Premier, Robert Bourassa, talked his way past the interests of the native residents of Quebec to put much of their land under water. He promised the moon but what the Innu and Cree got was dispossession, eviction, and poisoned water. Governor Mills now seems to want to play deaf to the voices of her constituents to further that same hydroelectric empire. Once again the clear wishes and interests of local people are being ignored to further corporate interests.

Steve Bien

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20 Responses »

  1. A lot of candidates will say and do anything to get themselves elected. Gov. Mills is no different. I did not vote for her, however, those of you who did should be asking yourselves, why??

  2. Hopefully she is a one term Governor, or be recalled before her term is up. Just Saying is correct, the Democrats will promise you the moon to get elected, but watch them after they get elected. The best is to hope they don't get the elected.

  3. This very level headed letter to the editor asks a fundamental question that those of us who supported Janet's run for governor yet oppose the corridor ask ourselves every day. Basically, what the hell is going on here? Believing corrupt CMP's faulty rhetoric over science and the will of the people is unfathomable. In a project with the aforementioned basis and a strong perception of conflict and bias, it is difficult to extend the benefit of the doubt to the governor. As Walter Gooley said at the first selectboard meeting in Farmington- something doesn't smell right. And its not getting any fresher as it ages.

  4. No, they are not and here's why. It is not a public matter, it never has been and it never will be. It doesn't sit on public land, it is not public funded, and it will not affect the public in any way. CMP holds public meetings to alleviate the constant "Whatcha doin?" questions. People talk about CMP greed, if CMP said " We're going to cut the light bills of people who live in towns along the corridor by 3cents per KWH."(that's 35%) all of you naysayers would be onboard. It is not even the fact that some trees will have to come down, the biggest complaints by far are "Well, what do I get out of it?" or "What does Maine get out of it?" It is not my fault that very few naysayers actually know where the new section will run, or where the existing line already is(like Jay). ALL of these townsfolk who have voted no, ALREADY have the line running through the area. CMP is not building new line from West Moxie south to Lewiston, That line is already done, that's the part I find so funny, "Hey, let's vote no for something that is already there and that we don't own." That's hilarious, and stupid at the same time, kind of like a blonde joke. It's like Katahdin Woods and Waterways, the people objected, and Obama did it anyway, the people in the area didn't own the land, it was private land that was given to the country. The people don't get a say in what other people do with their own land, you bunch of commies. If Beattie township was an organized town, CMP wouldn't have to deal with the state at all they could do so through the town of Beattie(where there such a thing) but since it is an unorganized territory the state(by state, I mean the MDEP, LUPC and since it involves a utility the MPUC) acts as the planning board for the project. People really need to educate themselves as to how things work.

  5. Here is how it works.... (LIKE IT, OR NOT).
    You see corruption and you say NOTHING,
    then nothing ever changes.
    You see corruption and speak up,
    Heads "can" roll. (Eventually).

    I say Thank You to those who choose to not just ACCEPT corruption,,
    We could be throwing our hands in the air and saying, "I can't do anything". Like some wus.

    Nothing will EVER change unless we the people speak up.
    I'm blonde.... (And YES, I have more fun)..
    Thank you COMRADES.

  6. Hrtlss what’s funny is you keep saying the existing line is already done. It’s not the line that is there now will be there after plus another line beside it making it twice what it was. How about you get educated and stop telling other people too. As for the Katahdin woods and waterways people didn’t want it because of the fact now that land is now being paid for by our tax dollars and ritzy Roxanne doesn’t have to pay the taxes herself.
    It really doesn’t matter to me if CMP cut my rate by 3 cents per kwh I still don’t trust them neither does a lot of Maine people that keep getting overcharged but at least the guvna is investigating them on that it shows she might care about the little people.

  7. Hrtless, you're starting to get on my nerves with your tired, worn out rhetoric.

    While the Corridor does not sit on public land it sits next to it. While the public does not pay for the project out
    right we support it when we pay our electric bills. As for the project not affecting the public in any way, where
    have you been? Certainly not at those CMP "informational meetings" because if you had, you'd never had
    made that statement. I think you should get out more.

    Again, you bring up the money "saving" rate payer issue. Oh wait, CMP just asked for a 10.65 percent hike in
    its electricity delivery rate. AND that's after all the fraudulent billing they've handed out to a lot of customers
    here in the state of Maine. So much fraudulent billing that there is currently a lawsuit underway. I dunno
    Hrtless, maybe CMP needs that rate hike to pay those lawyer fees. Or maybe too fund their "non profit" NGO
    where our Governor's brother, who sits on the board, just admitted, that it has ties with CMP. BUT we the
    public already knew that. And one other point, some of us won't sell our souls for a rate cut. What you do is
    your business.

    Your point on CMP owning the land is mute considering they'd threatened to take private land by eminent
    domain if this project needs to be rerouted.Your point on it be an existing corridor is also mute. I was just up
    to Moxie Pond to take a look at a piece of that existing corridor. You do know that they're going to widen the
    existing corridor and add 100 ft mono-poles to the mix, right? Boy, oh boy, what a view those AT hikers and
    those residents living by the lake are going to have. Not to mention the fact that there's water running down
    the sides of that existing corridor (the corridor CMP sprays herbicides on) into the lake. Nice huh?

    Hrtless, we're voting on something "that's not already there" not at the magnitude that is suggested. It's
    going to affect the public and so far twenty towns, three unions, and some other governmental bodies have
    opposed it. And we are not done by a long shot.

    You're going to lose this one. And if I didn't know any better I'd probably mistake you for John Carroll's brother


  8. Put yourself in Janet Mills position. She changed her stance once on this issue. For her to change it again would be viewed as caving under pressure. Which is worse...being thought of as a wavering governor or sticking to her guns and forcing this on all these towns that clearly don’t want it?

    Governor Mills, who is very concerned about climate change, took CMP officials at their word that the corridor would result in less CO2 being emitted. One would hope that she considered that statements from a company about to gain millions in profits annually, might be biased. The ‘greenness’ of this project has been a major controversy from day one and the validity of CMP’s claims is questionable. How can the State move forward without even knowing for sure if the key justification for the project is based on fact? It is unfortunate that LD 640, that would have required an independent (and non-biased) assessment of any CO2 emissions savings, died in the State legislature. At this point, considering all the controversy and opposition that surrounds the CMP corridor project, I think such a study is highly called for before the State goes any further.

  9. Poor Terry is getting upset, do you need a safe space and some coloring books, or maybe a puppy? They are not building a new line, the line already exists, they are upgrading it. And you can't see the line from the AT, there are a few mountains in the way And the AT crosses in Caratunk, a good 16.8 miles SOUTH of where the line runs. So unless the AT hikers can grow wings to fly over the 2000+ foot mountains and the curvature of the Earth to see the line, they can't see it. The AT does cross the existing line at Caratunk, but the line is there already so who cares. But since you mentioned it, the AT crosses throughout its length, 500 roads, 86 railroad tracks, 175 pole lines, 386 streams, 21 rivers and a partridge in a pear tree.

  10. Your gov't is being paid off, is why nobody is listening.

  11. Hrtlss,

    Maybe l should explain the comment “we’re voting on something that’s not already there, not at the magnitude that is suggested.”

    The existing line is going to be upgraded by widening it another 75 ft and inserting 100 ft mono-towers along side already existing 40ft transmission poles and CMP will be spraying herbicides on it all. This will be the case at Moxie Pond. So you’re saying that since it’s already visually and environmentally compromised (Moxie) and along the other existing line we should just live with the impacts of the up and coming added features? (larger cut swath, 100 ft poles, herbicides, and more environmental damage)

    The new line will be 53 miles long and its going through some amazing environmentally and what l would consider pristine land. I just hiked the Number 5 Mountain which is located at Parlin Pond west of US 201. It’s remote and when you summit it there’s not a town or ski slope in sight. Pretty amazing now a days. So amazing that l
    contacted Maine Trail Finders and recommended that they add this mountain trail to their list. Unfortunately, if that “new” Corridor is cut the summit will be visually cluttered by 100 ft poles just 1.89 miles away to the south west.

    As to the AT. Again, l was there just last week. It crosses on the southern most part of Moxie Pond. If one wants to continue on the AT, let’s say to Pleasant Pond Mountain, the trail at 0.l miles crosses under the existing corridor. So Hrtlss, l’ll not only be able to see the “upgrade” of the existing corridor, l’ll be able too hear it. As will all those others that hike the trail.

    And, no on the puppy, coloring book, and certainly not the safe space, but thanks for thinking of me.

  12. It's just another example of Maine Government bullying it's people. We can't seem to get anyone in these positions that will work for the good of this state. I voted for Janet but we really never know what we're getting do we? This state is equal to a dictatorship and has been for the last 9 years. Hope somebody wakes up soon.

  13. The only Number 5 I know of in that area is by Tobey Ponds, and that's what 10-12 miles west of 201, somewhere in that neighborhood? Anyway, the new line will pass south of No.5 and given all the logging roads and strip cuts in there it is far from "pristine", I spend most of my fall and winter hunting and trapping that area, granted it has been more than a couple years since I walked the AT from Rangeley to Katahdin, or drive into East Madrid/Barnjum and pick the trail up there, sometimes Eustis, but in my youth it was a fairly regular thing.

    CMP has been using the same herbicides for 60 years, I haven't heard of any massive fish or animal die offs, or mutated humans.

  14. Lindy LD640 was voted on over and over until they got enough votes to kill it. But two other bills that would have done near the same thing passed and the guvna vetoed them so theres that. The “greenness” of this project is no where what they claim even Mass AG says it’s not.
    There you go again hrtlss spewing your lies. The existing line is not upgradable there will be two lines when they are done. I had coffee with a CMP rep about a month ago and he clarified my question no one else had answered. Two line the one that there now and 90’ mono poles with a new line beside it. Two types of power two different lines. So instead of telling people to go find a safe space or get educated on the subject it appears you should take your own advice and get educated. It doesn’t cost anything to pay attention but if you want to put some of your pay towards it I will help you learn how
    Terry I’ll split the money with you if you’re interested in helping me I have a feeling it’s going to be quite a challenge.

  15. Lindy there were two other bills that would have done near the same thing as LD640 but the guvna vetoed them and like LD640 the lobbyists got to enough people to kill them. Even Massachusetts AG was quoted in the bangor daily saying it’s grenness is questionable at best.
    Hrtlss you really need to stop lying about this corridor it makes you look uneducated. The existing corridor is not being upgraded there will be two lines making it twice as wide than it is now with 90’ mono poles. This is coming directly from the CMP rep I had coffee with about a month ago. If you’d like I will help you understand but it won’t be cheap. My bill will be going up again because CMP is asking for two rate increases so if this does go through the “benefits “ they claim the state will get will be moot. If you’re interested in learning something ask the bulldog for my email.

  16. It has been reported in the last couple of days that BIW's largest union now opposes the CMP corridor project. The leader of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local S6 said "the project won't create jobs and could actually eliminate some in the steel, renewable energy, and biomass industries..... these are sustainable jobs. This transmission line is bad for Maine labor."

    How can Governor Mills continue to support CMP and their claims but disregard everyone else's along with the ever mounting opposition to this project?

  17. My question would be how could the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers support CMP and their claims but disregard three other local unions that now oppose the NECEC?
    IBEW Local104 which lists Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine workers as their members seem to be willing to cause permanent job loss for Maine union workers just so they can grab up those temporary jobs.

    Hrtlss, l bushwhacked up the Barnjum side of Abram with some fine folks last year. A heck of a lot easier than the Fire Wardens Trail.

    Awww, all we can do is try.

  18. Dear Hrtlss Bstrd, Thank you for your clever comments. Are you actually comparing the damage from the AT to the damage from tall towers and very wide strip cutting in the corridor to the strip cutting in the AT. AT West to East does not use herbicides and only does minimal cutting of individual small trees or bushes. No way is it visible from above. The number of crossing, etc is irrelevant; damage done is what matters. If there is already a corridor West--East along Spencer Rd and then south to Solon it is very well done and cleverly disguised. I was just up at the fire tower on Mtn#5 and have to admit I did not see it. Yes, it indeed is a working forest. Are you saying just because a forest has been mis-managed with regard for sustainability we should give up on it? Thank you for your good humor. I like good satire, but am willing to admit I sometimes have difficulty recognizing it. Or did you think the Daily Bulldog was The Onion?

  19. What Rodney said, and I will add: the AT was installed in a low-impact manner to deal with people already coming to various regions of the Appalachian mountains. The intent was to preserve and channel people along one route rather than 'letting' them flood into areas and multiply the impact. The same thing was done in Baxter, funneling people up to chimney pond, around the mountain, and back...the areas around Katahdin don't see much impact at ALL due to this. It is not a lie to say those people visiting bring money to the region, each and every year, forever, with Maine not 'offering up' its wild lands or public money in any large sense.

    This corridor has none of the hallmarks of a wise-use environmental project. Quick one-time payoff for various people, just like wind turbines - for almost no future return. None. There are far better ways to implement clean energy than by razing forests at the request of billionaires from away, inclined to make more billions off of us thru their pet politicians. I'm a conservative, falsely accused of cronyism/ big biz love daily, and even I can see thru this stuff.

    I'm one to think that in a 'democracy', when the people have spoken, especially THIS loudly - the representatives should listen. But that is NOT how this 'democracy' and the party bearing its name operates...frankly, it's like an elected dictatorship. Look how little listening was done in the last legislative session - that bodes poorly for the survival of real freedom in this state...and country, if they get back in power, as Maine is just a microcosm of the whole thing. But - THAT is what Over Regulation is, and we vote for it...better think carefully about your next vote.

    That is, if NYC isn't calling the shots by then, as the Democrats are trying to implement.

  20. I'm not surprised by the betrayal of Mill or the other wing nuts warming seats in disgusta. What did you expect, if you elec clowns, you get a circus. The fish rots from the head down.