In a world where much of the land has been developed, Maine's pristine and untouched forests are a unique gem. The New England Clean Energy Connect project by Central Maine Power, more commonly known as the CMP corridor, threatens to destroy this.
Central Maine Power is proposing to build a 145-mile so-called 'clean energy corridor' through the Maine Woods to connect Massachusetts to energy from Quebec. And the name itself is deceiving. In reality, this corridor is far from a clean energy project, transporting electricity that will be generated by a hydroelectric dam. Big dams like these are very destructive and not truly clean energy. They destroy forests, poison waters, and displace Indigenous people. This is not something that Maine should build infrastructure to support.
There is an idea floating around that only fossil fuel companies oppose this project, but that is not true. Many grassroots climate justice advocates oppose it, as well as 65% of Mainers (according to a statewide poll) and 25 towns long the corridor's proposed route.
Cutting a path right through Maine's forests would severely disrupt both wildlife habitats and Maine's tourist economy. People come to Maine for its beautiful wildlife and forests. The CMP corridor would disturb this. The area that the corridor would cut through is one of the largest swaths of undeveloped forests on the East Coast.
As a lifelong Mainer, one of the things I love most about Maine is its natural beauty. I go hiking and skiing up in northern Mine woods and I have always marveled at their beauty. If CMP's project goes forward, Maine will lose a piece of this forever.
This project will also be putting money into the pocket of CMP and Hydro-Quebec (both out-of-state companies), while providing little benefit to Maine. In fact, it is likely to hurt Maine's ongoing energy independence initiatives. And through it may provide jobs for some Mainers, these will be temporary, and CMP has failed to demonstrate that the project will have any longterm benefit to Maine's economy.
Maine's Supreme Court voted down a petition signed by Maine voters to put this issue on the ballot in 2020. However, there are still ways to get involved in opposition to this project. "No CMP Corridor" has been collecting signatures for another petition to get this issue on the ballot in 2021.
Add your name to this petition, share your opinion at the upcoming Maine Department of Environmental Protection hearing, but take action now! We cannot let big corporations take away what we as Mainers hold dear. We have to speak up to protect the lands and waters we love.