First off, I would like to share with you No CMP Corridor’s latest digital ad. In my opinion, it’s our best ad yet, so please join me in sharing it far and wide.
Contrary to CMP’s advertisements, the NECEC Corridor has absolutely nothing to do with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. CMP’s own spokesperson couldn’t guarantee that NECEC will have a positive impact on climate change. He said it’s “..not our job. That’s not our business.”
CMP has spent, and will continue to spend heavily from now until November to convince Maine voters otherwise. That’s why it’s critical for Mainers to understand the truth: for Central Maine Power, this project is about making $3 billion in profits off of Massachusetts’ ratepayers; it has absolutely nothing to do with solving climate change.
VLA Committee Passes Bill to Ban Foreign Government Interference
*Senator Brad Farrin was absent for the vote this past Friday but will be voting with us moving forward. Thank you for your vote, Senator Farrin!
This bill will now go to the full Senate for consideration. Thanks to all who participated in the public hearing on this bill. Your voices were heard!
Secretary of State Releases Draft Ballot Language
This week, the Secretary of State released draft ballot language for our referendum. We would like to thank her for her efforts to be clear and concise. While we are in the process of reviewing the language at this time, we are pleased with the fact that it’s abundantly clear that a YES vote stops the project. We will discuss the question further during our April 20th campaign update via Zoom (registration details provided below).
The draft reads as follows:
“Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to vote on other such projects in Maine retroactive to 2014, with a two-thirds vote required if a project uses public lands?”
CMP Campaign Spending Nearly Equivalent to Rate Hike Request
We’ve all heard CMP brag about the fact that Massachusetts is paying for the Corridor (as they absolutely should be since it’s only purpose is to fill a contract they’ve entered with Hydro-Quebec), but exactly one week after requesting a $26.5 million rate hike at the PUC (nearly 10%), CMP's PAC report reveals that Central Maine Power, and the companies that own it, have spent nearly an equivalent amount (more than $22 million) on their campaign to promote the deeply unpopular for-profit project.
This news comes on the heels of announcements that Maine suffers from the most frequent and prolonged power outages of any other state, and that CMP is again under PUC investigation.
CMP is with its hand out looking for yet another huge rate increase while spending hand-over-fist to promote an entirely unnecessary, and massive, infrastructure project. We know that town-after-town voted in strong opposition to the Corridor because it will undoubtedly hurt the economy and the character of rural Maine, but who cares, as long as Central Maine Power’s Spanish parent company continues to make obscene profits, right?
In a statement to the press on this matter, I said that it's truly stunning to see how little this company actually cares about the great state of Maine and its people. On one hand, CMP expects Mainers to pay more for worst-in-the-nation service, and on the other hand, it’s funneling tens of millions into a campaign to promote a $3 billion contract with customers in a different state. It's no wonder CMP is the lowest rated utility in America.
And CMP isn’t the only company spending big to advance this project. Hydro-Quebec, a company owned solely by the Province of Quebec, stands to make $41 million PER MONTH off of the deal, which is why it has flooded money into a PAC to influence Maine voters, even though the same practice would be illegal in Quebec. Fortunately, Mainers are taking notice, and they don’t appreciate the influx of foreign cash into an election initiated by the people of Maine.
Featured Column of the Week
By Ethan Andrews
In the last 15 months, the Hydro-Québec Maine Partnership ballot committee spent $9.99 million to turn public sentiment against any referendum meant to stop the CMP corridor. Additionally, CMP’s Clean Energy Matters PAC raised $14.87 million during the same period, spending much of it burning corridor-positive images of burbling brooks and aerial flyovers of mountains into the mind of every Mainer with a TV or smartphone. Both amounts were more than the next most expensive campaign on a ballot measure, when supporters of a York County casino proposal spent more than $9 million in 2017.
Hydro-Québec’s purchases included 54 full-page and 32 half-page ads from January to August 2020, more than any other political entity during that period, according to NRCM.
Click here to read the full column.
First Featured Letter of the Week
By Linda Lee of Bowdoin
Second Featured Letter of the Week
By John Nicholas
The power savings referenced in John’s letter were based on the standard rate of power at the time the PUC was considering this project. Since then, the wholesale market rate has come down substantially, and as a result, the whopping $0.35 per month savings John referenced wouldn’t ever be realized by Maine ratepayers. Add to that the 10% rate hike CMP is currently proposing and, well, you get the picture…
It’s a great deal for Spain (and Quebec), but a terrible deal for Maine.
This week, I presented testimony to the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on behalf of No CMP Corridor in support of LD 1278, An Act To End The Maine Information and Analysis Center Program. Here’s our written testimony on the bill, and the video from the hearing.
Click here to watch me testifying at the CJPS Public Hearing.
Activist of the Week
(Pictured on the right with Karla Block. Photo taken pre-COVID.)
This week, we would like to recognize Diane Kruchkow of New Sharon for her tireless efforts to oppose the CMP Corridor. During both signature gathering campaigns, Diane was a dedicated signature gatherer, regularly braving the elements, and taking time away from her true passion (skiing) to help us meet our goals. Whenever a helping hand has been needed, Diane is always there, ready and willing to help. Diane also regularly participates in the Monday CMP Corridor protests in front of the Farmington Post Office. So please join us in thanking Diane for all she has done, and continues to do, to protect our beautiful state from CMP’s corporate interests.
VOLUNTEER TO TABLE AT EVENTS: With spring now upon us, and vaccination efforts ramping up, many outdoor events and festivals are being scheduled all around the state. If there’s an upcoming event in your area that we should know about, or if you’re willing to help us (safely) table at events this spring/summer/fall, please take a moment to fill out this survey so we can plan accordingly! If there’s an opportunity for us to bring our message directly to your community, we don’t want to miss it, so please fill this survey out today!
Save the Date
What: Volunteer update!
When: Tuesday, April 20 at 7:00 pm
Where: Register here for the Zoom meeting
That’s all for this week, friends! Again, please keep your eyes and ears open for event opportunities, and let us know how we can best spread the word in your community. From now until November, our sole mission is to inform everyone and anyone who will listen that this November, Mainers should vote YES to reject the CMP Corridor. I’ll see you all Tuesday evening.
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
Thanks for your continued support! Together, WE WILL STOP THE CMP CORRIDOR!