1.31.21 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

This week, the Maine Ethics Commission rightfully rejected a bogus request by CMP to investigate No CMP Corridor and myself in a unanimous decision. CMP filed the complaint on the grounds that, because I spend a lot of time working on the referendum to stop the corridor, I must be getting paid, and thus far, that pay had not been reported. According to their attorney, the lack of evidence of any wrongdoing was their evidence that there must be wrongdoing.

It's a sad day when CMP, foreign-owned company, uses their corporate lawyers to launch bogus complaints against our volunteer effort to intimidate those who dare to speak out against them. It's clear that CMP, and the soulless suits who represent them, can't fathom the passion and drive shared by hundreds of volunteers who care so deeply about preserving Maine's environment, economy and brand that they're willing to stand out in the cold for a second winter in a row to collect more than enough signatures to again qualify a referendum for the ballot.

To set the record straight once and for all, I am a volunteer, and I have not been paid for my ongoing efforts to stop this unpopular project. 

I am proud to represent this dedicated group of volunteers who care deeply about giving Mainers a voice on this destructive project. More than 100,000 Mainers want to vote on this project, and this time we won't be stopped by CMP or their high powered lawyers.

If you’d like to watch the full ethics hearing, please click here. We were second on their agenda. 

(Please start the video when the meeting begins around 34:30 min)

Featured Op-ed of the Week

Kick Hydro-Quebec out of Maine’s elections

Last week, Senator Rick Bennett and Representative Nicole Grohoski submitted a fantastic op-ed to the Sun Journal that got lost in the excitement of signature turn-in week. We’d like to now bring your attention back to this piece and encourage everyone to share it on their social media accounts. Last year Hydro-Quebec, a company owned 100 percent by a foreign government, spent nearly $10 million to directly influence the voters of Maine. This year, as soon as our lawmakers were sworn in, they began lobbying them in favor of this unpopular project as well. In their op-ed, Senator Bennett and Representative Grohoski said:

The 130th Maine Legislature was recently sworn in, and already Hydro-Quebec — the supplier of energy for the so-called Central Maine Power Corridor powerline project through western Maine — has begun its efforts to pit Maine lawmakers against their own constituents, who want to have the opportunity to vote on the controversial project in a statewide referendum.

As legislators, and volunteer signature gatherers ourselves, we find their continued efforts to influence the outcome of elections in Maine appalling, which is why we recently sent a letter to our colleagues to warn them of Hydro-Quebec’s rank hypocrisy.

We’re so fortunate to have this bipartisan team of legislators, from opposite ends of our state, on our side in Augusta. Please join us in thanking them for their continued efforts. The full op-ed can be read here.

Featured Letter of the Week

Looking forward to a NECEC referendum

Theresa York of Farmington isn’t fooled by Hydro-Quebec or CMP’s games either. In a letter featured in the Bangor Daily News this week, she said:

Recently the government of Quebec (through Hydro-Quebec) did an exhaustive poll of only 500 Mainers to gauge where we stand on their unpopular New England Clean Energy Connect project. Central Maine Power, another foreign-owned corporation and their partner in the project, released the results. Collectively, these two companies stand to make over $15 billion in profit off the corridor project, so of course, Mainers should trust that their motives are pure.

The truth is that both of these companies have shown disrespect to the voters of this state since the inception of this for-profit project, doing some of their dealings behind closed doors and spending a small fortune on lobbyists and lawyers to prevent a statewide referendum. They could seem to care less about how we feel about the project, which is evident from the questions posed in the poll they released last week on the same day that No CMP Corridor delivered more than 100,000 signatures to the Secretary of State to trigger a statewide vote.

I believe Hydro-Quebec has failed once again in the “facts” department and appears out of touch with the reality of the situation, perhaps because they are based in another country. Their whole poll was ridiculous and a waste of time, and it shows just how desperate they are to slash their destructive corridor through our state to profit off a contract with Massachusetts. I look forward to voting yes this November to stop them once and for all.

Featured Interview of the Week

Mainely Matters with Brian Olas

Last week, volunteer Brian Olas joined Mainely Matters to discuss his opposition to the CMP Corridor. Thank you for helping us spread the word, Brian!

Important Reminder

 What’s At Risk: Photo Essay of the Lands the CMP Corridor Would Destroy

Last fall, Sam Steele of South Portland, Maine, spent six days trekking through the mountainous woodlands of northwestern Maine along Segment 1 of the proposed CMP corridor. CMP has portrayed this region as nothing more than “working forest,” but Sam found something more than that during his trip. Crystal clear streams and mountains, abundant wildlife, and gorgeous mountain views all of which CMP wants to punctuate with a harmful transmission corridor. —Natural Resources Council of Maine

Action Item Week of January 31

We are looking for dedicated volunteers who would be willing to join the No CMP Corridor echo chamber. This group of volunteers will be responsible for liking, sharing, and retweeting the content that we are going to be pushing out to spread our message far and wide before this referendum is gone! Some of us are active on Facebook, some on Twitter, and Instagram. Let's use the diversity of our following to continue to spread our message far and wide!

And don't worry if you don't have social media. We'd love for you to write a LTE for us! Email us at [email protected] if you're interested!

Activist of the Week

This week, we’d like to extend our gratitude to Tom Saviello of Wilton. Most recently, Tom served as the lead signer of our petition, and he was instrumental to our successful signature gathering effort. But Tom’s involvement in this effort truly began years ago during his time as the Senator for Franklin County. Early on, Tom realized that NECEC was a very bad deal for western Maine, and for years now, he has plugged away behind the scenes helping our cause in more ways than most would imagine. He’s worked with towns, he’s helped us in Augusta, he’s testified before every regulatory body, he’s helped us with our ongoing lawsuits, he’s helped us with both referendums, he’s done countless interviews and written countless letters and columns. And he’s done this all for free, as a volunteer, because he cares so deeply about the communities most impacted by this destructive project. Like many of us, this issue has become deeply personal to Tom, which is why our cause has benefitted and continues to benefit from his passion and his guidance. He is truly a wealth of knowledge, and we’re so fortunate to have his support on our effort.

So please join us in recognizing Tom for all of his hard work, and for sticking with us for all of this time.

Once again, please help us spread our message on social media or when you are out and about by wearing one of our NO CMP Corridor masks. 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.

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

Sandi Howard

PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04938.