Ecker OpEd: Confused about Question #1 about the CMP Corridor?

Lewiston Sun Journal

Are you getting inundated with scary messages about “Retroactivity”?
I am one of over 120,000 people who signed a petition to get Question #1 on the ballot. I am also one of the many volunteers who stood in the freezing cold outside of stores collecting signatures. You probably saw me at the ‘Food liner’.

Did you know that the Hydro-Quebec, CMP, and their lobbyists have spent over 40 million dollars fighting this campaign, compared to 10 million spent by the opponents of the Corridor? (Maine Ethics Commission website)

They have spent over 40 million dollars to convince Mainers that the Corridor to Massachusetts is good for us. Now, they aren’t even trying to convince the public that it’s a good thing. Instead, they are spending millions to scare us.

So what is Retroactive about this bill?
Question #1 wants to: ban 50 miles or longer transmission lines through the upper Kennebec Valley retroactive to when CMP signed their illegal lease in 2014.  And it would ensure that for future projects the legislature has to have a say in similar projects in the region by a two third’s vote.

Why is it considered illegal?
In 2014, CMP got a lease from the Maine Bureau of Public Lands. It was illegal because there was no CPCN (Certificate of Public Need and Necessity) from the Maine PUC (Public Utilities Commission.) They received the CPCN (5) years after the lease was signed, May 3, 2019.

Why is it Unconstitutional?
Maine Constitution states that any substantial alteration of public land requires a two third’s vote of the legislature (article IX, section 23 of the Maine constitution.) Cutting down a huge swath through 50 miles of wilderness with 100 ft. towers is a substantial alteration. This vote never happened, even though it’s constitutionally required.
Question #1 would make this retroactive for the legislature to vote on it.

There is no proof that this will reduce Greenhouse gases.
The proponents (Mainers for Clean Energy) claim this will reduce greenhouse gases and help to fight Climate Change. But there has never been an objective analysis to prove this. There was a bill proposed, but the lobbying efforts by the proponents were so intense, it did not pass.

I am very concerned that the proponents of this huge Corridor to Massachusetts (No vote) have spent over 40 million dollars to scare us.

Summary: Question # 1 bans high-impact transmission lines in the upper Kennebec region and requires a majority vote in the legislature on high-impact transmission lines anywhere in the state.  If you want to vote to stop the CMP Corridor- vote yes.

Emily Ecker
Woodstock

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  • Sandra Howard
    published this page in News 2021-10-22 06:39:10 -0400