Green Independent Party opposes CMP NECEC corridor proposal

 

The Maine Green Independent Party opposes CMP’s New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) corridor. Besides the environmental impact of clearing a New Jersey Turnpike wide swath through Maine’s North Woods, the so-called clean energy passing through Maine from Quebec to Massachusetts has questionable environmental benefits for Maine and the planet.

The 145 miles of high transmission lines, with 53 miles of new corridor through the North Woods threatens wildlife and habitat with construction of above-ground transmission lines crossing the Appalachian Trail, wetlands, vernal pools, trout streams and pristine areas. Many towns directly connected to the proposed corridor oppose the project.

Co-Chair of the Maine Green Independent Party, Niomi Larivee describes the feelings of many of Maine's citizens. "I find it extremely disturbing that CMP is not listening to the will of Maine's people, towns and businesses. CMP is trying to buy us out. We are on the losing end. Property rights would be lost via eminent domain. Just think of how this will impact our tourist trade. Destroying valuable trusts, sanctuaries, parks and our personally owned land, the CMP corridor is a project the Maine Green Independenty Party stands against," states Larivee.

Kim Pfusch, an eco-activist and 2018 candidate for Maine House Rep for District 61 (representing Lewiston), identifies the lack of leadership in August on this issue. As Pfusch says "Maine residents are asking for representation on the grounds that we want our power to be owned by local citizens. The Maine Green Independent Party stands against the corridor and will represent the concerns and questions rightfully asked by our constituents".

The power to be produced in Quebec for Massachusetts consumers has questions as to its sustainable source. The claims of ‘clean energy’ are not substantiated to the Maine PUC which has not been fully informed of the source of power transmitted through the corridor. There is likely to be no new power generation.

The power currently produced by Hydro Quebec that supplies Ontario and New York may be rerouted from these existing customers to go to Massachusetts who will pay a higher price. The supplanted power may then be generated by fossil fuels (coal and natural gas). Hydro electric power has questionable sustainable benefits. This dumping of hydro power will crowd out new, renewable solar and wind (on and off shore) power and block access from these green sources to markets.

The NECEC Corridor was not the first choice of Avangrid, the parent company of CMP, to transmit power from Quebec to Massachusetts. The New Hampshire Northern Pass route was rejected by their state evaluation committee. Vermont also declined to accept the offer to transmit power through their state. Do our neighbors know something Maine should be aware of? This project will put billions in profit into the coffers of Hydro Quebec and Avangrid. Maine has been offered a pittance to be bought off by these corporate entities.

Another factor to consider is where emphasis will go during the regular power outages in Maine. The agreement requires Avangrid to ensure that CMP customers receive adequate power restoration. CMP has the least reliable service as of 2017, as well as some of the highest rates in the country. Billing irregularities have yet to be resolved. Can we believe that CMP (Avangrid) has Mainers' best interests in their plans?