In response to the Aug. 11 column from Richard Barringer and Richard Anderson, it is sometimes necessary to employ every available legal option, including a referendum, to stop bad public policy.
I don’t think the state regulatory review process that approved the NECEC is an objective process that reveals meticulous findings of fact, nor does it apply objective legal criteria to the subject matter under review. For example, state regulators rejected sworn testimony that the lease agreement to allow the use of public reserved land for the NECEC was illegal and a violation of the Maine Constitution. As a result of that denial of objective legal facts, 21 of us had to seek legal remedy in Superior Court. Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy declared that the lease agreement was invalid and a violation of the Maine Constitution.
The governor appoints all the members of the regulatory agencies. Their role is to review and pass judgment on major projects that affect the environment, economy and public interest of the State of Maine. In doing so, though, they often ensure that the policy agenda of the governor is implemented. It is a more sophisticated political process, but no less political than the legislative process.