This week was a very big news week for our cause. The Governor called CMP’s performance ‘abysmal’ just days before the company was granted a massive rate hike that Maine Public’s Fred Bever described as “the biggest electricity bill increase in recent memory.”
Finance reports were also due this week, which gave us a glimpse at how CMP has spent $27 MILLION to promote an unpopular project from which their foreign stakeholders stand to make billions. Over the last three months, CMP’s PAC spent an average of $62,000 every single day, largely on propaganda in the form of digital and television ads. To put this into perspective, the average annual pay in Maine is $58,015.
This level of spending dwarfs anything this state has ever seen in a referendum election, and it makes their double-digit pay bump all that much more difficult to stomach.
In other news, a group of bipartisan legislators from the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee recently visited a few of CMP’s clear cuts along the new corridor in the remote Segment 1 near Jackman, and they were appalled by what they witnessed.
To put it simply, CMP’s narrative that the clear cuts are only 54 feet wide, or roughly the distance between the home plate and the pitcher's mound is patently false. In reality, the clear cuts are currently between 84-100 plus feet wide because the tapering requirement included in the DEP permit to protect critical wildlife habitat and the scenic character of this special part of Maine either cannot be met, or simply isn’t being met. To make matters worse, unless the Board of Environmental Protections steps in, these clear cuts will only get wider as crews return to the forest on August 1st to clear the second and third taper zones.
Senator Rick Bennett, Senator Russell Black, Representative Lori Gramlich and Representative Scott Landry were so disturbed by the destruction they witnessed that they drafted the following letter and report the Department of Environmental Protections, Bureau of Environmental Protections and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. Shockingly, William Hinkel, the Executive Analyst for the Board of Environmental Protection has advised board members to “disregard the letter for the time being.” A DEP spokesperson, however, said that the department will look into the concerns expressed in this letter and issue a statement after “thorough review.”
Featured Letter of the Week
Featured Report of the Week
“This is an aerial view of that Corridor cut. The two people in the picture are standing in the so-called ‘taper’ zone.”
As you can clearly see, the tapering condition included in the DEP permit is utterly useless when it comes to the stated goals of protecting critical wildlife habitat, heritage fisheries and vistas. Plus, the DEP has slow walked the appeal of the DEP permit, effectively keeping this issue out of the hands of the Board of Environmental Protections. Enough is enough. This is our legacy, and it’s time for the State to step in to protect it. Please contact the Board of Environmental Protections to urge them to take jurisdiction of the project now, and email and call DEP Commissioner Melanie Loyzim to ask that she immediately halt construction until the tapering inadequacies are addressed.
Online form: https://www.maine.gov/dep/bep/contact.html
Commissioner Melanie Loyzim
Email: [email protected]
Featured Press Conference from Our Activists of the Week
This week, please join me in thanking Senator Rick Bennett, Senator Russell Black, Representative Lori Gramlich and Representative Scott Landry for taking the time to travel up to the Upper Kennebec Region to view what has taken place firsthand, and for their continued efforts to bring this matter to light. The Segment 1 clear cut is of incredible importance to so many Mainers, so we truly appreciate their willingness to lend their voices and use your platform as lawmakers to help elevate this issue. This alliance is just another example of how uniting opposition to the CMP Corridor issue is, and we are so fortunate to have this bipartisan, bicameral group taking the lead in Augusta.
July Volunteer Update
If you missed it, click here to watch the latest campaign update: Team Vote Yes to Reject the CMP Corridor campaign update
During the volunteer zoom meeting this week, a number of you asked for the stipulations that must be met for the Board of Environmental Protections to take jurisdiction of a project. According to statute, a project meets the criteria of a ‘project of statewide significance’ if it meets at least three of the four of the following criteria. The project:
- Will have an environmental or economic impact in more than one municipality, territory or county;
- Involves an activity not previously permitted or licensed in the State;
- Is likely to come under significant public scrutiny;
- Is located in more than one municipality, territory or county.
The CMP Corridor clearly meets this criteria.
Featured Story of the Week
Finally, if you would like to participate in the Wilton Blueberry Festival parade on August 7, please email us at [email protected] so we can connect you with Wendy Huish, our local volunteer coordinating the event. Lineup is outside of the Leap building at 8:30 am.
Thank you everyone for an incredible week! To donate securely online, click the button below. To donate by check, mail a check payable to No CMP Corridor to PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04938.
And don't forget that if you want to sign up to receive our new and improved vote YES to REJECT CMP's corridor yard signs, click here (donations appreciated to cover the cost).
Director, No CMP Corridor