Mainers should not be deceived by the numerous ads, letters and op-eds claiming that the projected New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line has compelling environmental benefits and would help combat climate change. In fact, it’s bad for Maine and the environment.

Obviously, NECEC’s 100-foot towers set in a continuously maintained right of way the width of a football field will scar one of the most beautiful landscapes in New England. But beyond that, there is no assurance that the power crossing the proposed lines is not simply being “greenwashed.” Hydropower may be diverted from other Hydro-Quebec customers to go to Massachusetts while those existing customers will then receive substitute power generated by greenhouse gas emitting fossil fueled plants – a shell game that may do nothing to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and could even increase them. These facts alone should be sufficient to reject their proposal.