Richard Aishton, in rebuttal: Trust and credibility not a strong suit

Lewiston Sun Journal

Jon Breed (guest column, July 26) and Central Maine Power seem to have a very difficult time with trust and credibility and that may be why they find themselves in their current state of flux. I was initially insulted by Breed’s recent column but I quickly realized how sad the situation really is. His column is a good example of the shortage of credibility and trust generated by CMP. Credibility and trust are earned by telling the truth.

Breed stated: “There will be thousands of new jobs during construction.” CMP estimates 1,600 jobs and we know that many of those will be given to out-of-state workers who have the specialized skills required for installation of the HVDC line. “Thousands” does not even accurately reflect CMP’s own job estimate.

Breed wrote: “all while cutting three million metric tons of carbon emissions over the next decade.“ That figure has been drifting around for quite some time now and is not supported by any scientific evidence relating to the NECEC. Breed just hopes that this uncited “reference” will just slide by. Not good for trust and credibility, my friend.

Breed wrote about reducing greenhouse gasses but forgot to mention that in March 2019 at a Wiscasset Select Board Meeting, John Carroll, CMP spokesperson, stated on camera: “So, the question about whether this (NECEC) will make a difference in climate change, CMP has no doubt that it will — we can’t guarantee it.” Another stellar example of boosting credibility? Not really.

The most direct example comes when Breed stated, “They (opposition groups) complained the corridor was too wide as originally proposed; but when the corridor width was reduced to just 54 feet at its widest point …” — one only has to go five pages into the MDEP final approval document to read that, beyond segment 1, the corridor will be widened an average of 75 feet.

And let’s not forget, Sandi Howard of “Say No to NECEC” organized the referendum signature drive, along with Tom Saviello, and we are not dark money. We are citizens tired of being pushed around by a foreign interest spending millions of dollars to convince the public that its project is wonderful.

Spain and Canada are the major players in this NECEC. No one really says much about that, particularly Jon Breed.

And let’s also not forget that there are already existing routes for Hydro-Quebec to send its not-so-clean power to the New England grid. HQ stands to make $500 million per year profit for this NECEC and that is a pretty good motivating factor for funding Breed and his peers to ignore facts and, instead, continue to steadily decline on the credibility and trust continuum.

Richard Aishton, Farmington

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