Question 1, if approved on November 2, would essentially invalidate the regulatory approvals obtained by Central Maine Power from the Maine Land Use Planning Commission and the Maine DEP in 2020 for its proposed power line corridor to deliver renewable hydroelectric power. in Massachusetts as part of that state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. Instead, this referendum would replace a political decision by the legislature.
I had been on the fence regarding CMP’s proposal because my frustration with CMP’s poor customer service obscured the real problem on the ballot: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, benefiting the nation and the world. Does Maine outweigh the negative environmental and social impacts in parts of Somerset and Franklin counties in our fight against climate change?
The Maine Public Utilities Commission approved the power line in 2019. Their decision was in part based on whether it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and took into account the estimates of supporters and opponents of those emissions. . The PUC concluded that the project would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions into our atmosphere from 3 to 3.6 million metric tons / year.
This referendum has also become a question of corporate profits. CMP and Hydro-Quebec would earn a lot of money from the sale of electricity if this power line were completed. They raised $ 37 million to oppose Question 1. What is less well known is that most of the funds to convince us to vote in favor of Question 1 come from the owners of natural gas power plants in Canada. Maine, including NextEra Energy, Vistra Energy and Calpine Corp. Their political action committees raised $ 9.5 million. These Texas fossil fuel companies are already making a lot of money with New England taxpayers and they want to protect those profits from the competition.
The bottom line is that the climate change benefits of the power line far outweigh its negative impacts. I will therefore vote against question 1.
Augusta’s O’Brien wants the city to succeed