Burger LTE: CMP power corridor could pose fire danger

Portland Press Herald

We’ve seen the devastating forest fires in northern California, claiming lives, homes, and vast acres of forest. These were caused largely by power-line malfunctions.

Pacific Gas and Electric’s power lines sparked the deadly 2018 fire in Paradise, Calif. The company pleaded guilty to 85 deaths and destruction of a city. Now, as the Dixie wildfire continues to rage, Central Maine Power’s proposal to build high-voltage transmission lines through Maine forests seems extremely questionable – if not insane. In 2019, the Maine State Federation of Firefighters expressed their concerns about the corridor. A recent letter to the editor from Sen. Scott Cyrway also warned of the dangers, citing a Memorial Day pole-line wildfire in Concord Township along a strip clear cut for CMP’s Corridor.

We are victims of our own folly; manmade global warming is upon us. The UN has assessed our situation at  “code red for humanity,” a global crisis point. Our reckless destruction of nature must stop. Forests are vital to sequestering carbon, providing oxygen, cooling the earth, and sheltering wildlife. We must protect them and stop taking such huge risks with nature. Maine forests, one of the last large tracts left in the US, could easily become a fire hazard; all it takes is a couple of dry years. Yet, incredibly, CMP intends to string 1200-megawatt lines through this vast forest tract. Surely the unacceptable fire risks to Maine’s woodlands outweigh any benefits of the CMP Corridor.

Let’s take a lesson from California. A Dixie fire must never happen here.

Rachel Burger
South Portland

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  • Sandra Howard
    published this page in News 2021-08-17 08:31:06 -0400