Unless you are living in a cave, you likely either saw, heard or read the carpet-bombing ad campaign that Central Maine Power and its hopeful partner Hydro-Québec unleashed upon us all over the last year about how the New England Clean Energy Connect project was going to save our planet from climate change. What you may not have noticed is that those ads have stopped in favor of a new approach. The opposition researchers that have now been planted throughout the state, including in our community, likely saw that their “green” ad campaign was not swaying the smartly skeptical voters who are paying attention to the issue.
Instead, we are now being inundated with a different message from Mainers for Fair Laws, a political action committee that has been created by the same nefarious players to confuse and distract you from what Question 1 is really about. So, let’s get this straight: Question 1 is about the NECEC, plain and simple.
In 1993, Article 9 Section 23 amended our state constitution to say that our public lands could not be substantially altered for any purpose without first passing with a two-thirds majority vote by our Legislature. During the permitting process for the NECEC, which crosses a significant section of public lands in western Maine, both the LePage and Mills administrations facilitated the violation of that constitutional amendment in order to fast track the permit, saying that the 100-foot-tall poles and connecting power lines would not substantially alter this wilderness area. Anyone who has been to this area and enjoyed what the wilderness has to offer will know that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Mainers for Fair Laws is trying their best to capitalize on the unsettled political climate of our time by saying Question 1 is unconstitutional and creates retroactive laws that we should all fear for some reason. The truth is, we wouldn’t be having this conversation if the state constitution had been followed in the first place. If you close out the noise for a moment and actually read Question 1, you will see that unless you happen to be building “high impact transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region” you have nothing to worry about. It has to be retroactive, because CMP started construction knowing full well that their project would be challenged.
CMP and Hydro-Québec are banking on the fact that they can confuse Mainers into believing that this is something that it isn’t. Let’s prove them wrong. Vote yes on Question 1 to stop the CMP corridor.