I’m not going to lie, this has been a rollercoaster week with court rulings and the Presidential permit being granted. The trifecta is:
1) The US Department of Energy’s Presidential Permit was granted, without a comprehensive study OR a public comment period (bad news)
2) Our citizen intervenor motion to stay the DEP permit was denied (more bad news)
3) Sierra Club, NRCM, AMC's request for an injunction of the Army Corps permit during the federal appeal process WAS GRANTED (THE BEST NEWS!)
So, on Friday, just after CMP ran to the press to announce that they were officially beginning construction in Segment 1 (the first 53 mile stretch), they were issued a one-month halt for their project, which pushes construction of this segment dangerously close to mud season when they cannot clear the corridor.
According to a Portland Press Herald article from December 2020, CMP says delay will cost millions, as judge hears challenge to corridor, "Powerline contractors [from Wisconsin] had planned to begin clearing work as early as December 4. CMP now says forest clearing for its transmission corridor in western Maine has been put off until at least Dec. 18. But it says it needs to begin by early January to meet contract obligations, be off the ground before the spring thaw, and protect vulnerable wildlife."
So as you can see, the news this week has been mixed, but please don’t forget to celebrate our victories! The work we all have done, and will continue to do, to bring this issue to a statewide vote is more important than ever before. We can and we will stop them!
Our Statement on DOE Presidential Permit
"I have written to our congressional delegation to raise my grave concerns with the way in which the Department of Energy (DOE) has handled the issuance of the presidential permit," said Tom Saviello. "In a November 2019 letter to Senator Susan Collins, DOE said that while they typically provide a 15-day public comment period for it's Environmental Assessments (EA), it intended to extend a 30-day public comment period for this project to allow Mainers and local experts to weigh in. Instead, DOE decided to waive the public comment period altogether, as well as the comprehensive Environmental Impact Study (EIS) that was conducted for similar projects in neighboring New Hampshire and Vermont. This is unheard of and totally unacceptable, and it further highlights the importance of the citizens' initiative that I filed last fall."
"While it is incredibly disappointing that the federal government issued this permit without close scrutiny or input from the people of Maine, opponents of this project will not sit idly by while unelected bureaucrats ignore the will of the Maine people," said Sandi Howard. "Next week, we will submit more than enough signatures to qualify this issue for the ballot, and for CMP to move forward ahead of this inevitable statewide vote is an incredibly callous decision that I predict their foreign stakeholders will pay dearly for. At the end of the day, Mainers know that this is a terrible deal, and they're going to be unwilling to sacrifice what is required for this destructive project to move forward so two foreign corporations can profit.
"They may have another permit in their pocket, but we will not stop until they're held accountable to the voters of this great state. Maine will not be an extension cord for Massachusetts."
I know that this isn’t the news we were hoping for, but rest assured, I’m predicting that we will have a lot to celebrate next week!
Save the Date
The deadline to submit our MANY signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office is this Thursday, January 21. That evening at 8pm, No CMP Corridor will hold a celebratory online event with our volunteers so we can all celebrate this joyous occasion together! Please mark your calendars now, and register to join us here, or tune in on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NoCMPCorridor.
Who: No CMP Corridor leaders and volunteers
What: Online celebration!
When: Thursday, January 21 at 8:00 PM
As we all know by now, CMP is not a trustworthy company. Throughout the course of this project, they haven’t been honest with the people of Maine about the “benefits” or impacts of this project, and their advertisements have been deceptive at best. Just this week, the spokesperson for this project was called out by the Portland Press Herald for providing an inaccurate statement regarding their plans to begin construction.
Featured Letter of the Week
Over the course of this campaign, it’s our job to hit back at their (many) lies, which is just what John Nicholas of Winthrop did this week with his letter that was printed in the Kennebec Journal.
The NECEC is not an electric reliability project. The purpose of the New England Clean Energy Connect project is to bring hydropower from Quebec, through Maine, to meet the contracts between Hydro-Quebec and three utilities in Massachusetts for the benefit of Massachusetts and two foreign corporations.
The NECEC does not support the reliability of the Maine power grid. A recent ad featuring a paid supporter of the NECEC project alleges that the NECEC project supports electric reliability.
Do not believe this falsehood.
As a reminder, a report recently found that Maine, which is primarily served by CMP, experiences the most frequent and extended power outages in the country, yet CMP remains more concerned with promoting this for-profit project than improving service to their existing customers. It seems that their priorities are more than a little out of whack.
Featured Video of the Week
Click video below to view.
Activist of the Week
This week, we'd like to recognize Bill Schmidt of Pownal. Bill has been with us from the start, sharing his knowledge and talent by designing a website for our grassroots non-profit organization Say NO to NECEC. He has also led the charge in Pownal to leverage a town vote on the corridor and submitted public comments at the approval agencies. We are also so thankful for Bill for his efforts during both signature collecting efforts, where he emerged as one of the top collectors in Cumberland County. Like so many, Bill's efforts to stay the course, and drive all around the state to deliver petitions to town offices, have been instrumental as we work toward the finish line to submit signatures to the Secretary of State's Office. Bill represents the ethos we strive for in our grassroots effort with knowledge, staying power and positivity that we can successfully stand up against foreign corporations to preserve the Maine we know and love!
So again, thank you Bill, and thanks to each and every one of you for your support over these last few years. While CMP would like the people of Maine to think that their unpopular NECEC Corridor is a “done deal”, we know that the only thing that is certain is that the people of Maine won’t rest until they have a say at the ballot box.
Please mark your calendars for next Thursday, January 21st at 8pm for our online celebration, and again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU for everything.
Again, thank you all so much for your continued support. If you'd like a No CMP Corridor mask, please donate $10 or more and we will send you a mask. See below instructions on how you can donate.
Donate by mail: Check made payable to No CMP Corridor sent to PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04398
Secure online: Donate at www.NoCMPCorridor.com/donate
To stay up to date and receive text message alerts, text NOCMP to 474747.
PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04938.