Old Canada Road Scenic Byway Endorses YES on 1

Old Canada Road Scenic Byway

Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, Inc. Supports Yes on Question 1.

In 2000, Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater approved the petition for 78 miles of Route 201 from Solon to the Canadian border as a Scenic Byway of National significance nationwide, one of only 45 byways at the time. The selection was based on rural character, scenery, cultural heritage and history.

Our Mission and Vision are:

The CMP/NECEC project will severely detract from scenic integrity and spectacular Maine scenery, with this project and the others that will inevitably follow. Visitors come to Maine for many of the things we do not have, development, and what we do have, uninterrupted space.

This transmission project has passed a number of legal and regulatory hurdles and still has some appeals to conquer. Only the legal hurdles regarding construction of the corridor have been addressed, nothing about the source of the electricity which, understandably, is why Hydro Quebec (HQ) never provided any testimony under oath to any regulatory board. What was not taken into consideration were all of the unintended (actually known but unmentioned) consequences of this power importation which, if vetted years ago, may have been reasons to stop the project. Many of these consequences are tied to a sense of right and wrong, a distinction that is not necessarily involved in legal discussion. These issues will be the ones that determine how the votes are cast November 2. The consequences are what concern Old Canada Road Scenic Byway Directors the most. This project degrades the north woods and its traditional character.

A YES vote may be made in recognition that:

  • The power source, Hydro Quebec mega dams, warm the gulf of Maine not unlike the effects of Siberian or Brazilian dams in their respective waters and documented by NASA and Kasprzak in Blue Deserts.
  • After this 1,200 Mw is sold in New England, Hydro Quebec and Iberdrola will be rewarded with billions in profit for years. There‚Äôs nothing wrong with profit but we could use it right in this country instead of exporting it. Money should not an exported commodity, particularly as we are passing legislation increasing the national debt limit.
  • New England towns lose tax revenue and related jobs from modern, clean power plants that could have been in their towns.
  • A traditional power source, biomass, essential to the Maine logging industry that surrounds Old Canada Road, is
  • The high electric rates paid by American businesses, compared to those charged in Quebec, will subsidize Canadian businesses that compete with similar American businesses.
  • With power generation in Canada, the energy security of New England is compromised by either terrorism or nature. Remember the President of HQ saying that only a half inch of rain was necessary to power New England? Think drought and consider whose switch is shut off first? Several times in the last couple of winters notices were posted in Canadian cites asking residential customers to lower their thermostats.
  • Canadian courts are hearing cases from indigenous people that power to be transmitted on NECEC lines will be taken without compensation. Stolen?
  • To date the $300 million NECEC has spent is all on a gamble that buckets of money from Hydro Quebec and Iberdrola could sway Maine voters. Perhaps that works in other countries, but not here.
  • The stipulation package touted by Governor Mills and NECEC is a big deal but if the purported climate benefit is actually the goal of the Massachusetts request, then they are actually standing in the way of progress as a very similar project is already permitted In Vermont. That project could have been functioning - now. With the past three years and the upcoming multi-year battle, no matter which side wins, actually postpone any climate benefit. The Vermont project is already permitted and underground or water. It has a $700 million plus consumer benefit package to make it happen. Maine settled for $260 million, in effect leaving $500 million on the table in negotiation. Massachusetts would not spend the money to benefit Vermont citizens but is OK sending it overseas. When divided by the 660,000 CMP customers and the 40 years to expend the one time Maine negotiated fund allocation, it is not sufficient to cover the $9.90/month rate increase just awarded to CMP. ($6.5 million/year).

Old Canada Road Directors are deeply troubled by the project and permanent damage to the Maine Woods and the visitor and resident experiences. Massachusetts can get its goal met by another route though similar consequences remain on the minds of Vermont residents. Who would want to be the low bidder on a bad project? Maine voters can remain proud and have a clear conscience by voting YES November 2nd . We will not deny Massachusetts or climate change anything. The traditions of the North woods can continue. Please join the Old Canada Road National Scenic Byway Directors in voting YES on Question #1.

Old Canada Road Board of Directors, Bingham, Maine

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  • Sandra Howard
    published this page in News 2021-10-25 15:04:21 -0400