Recently Jon Breed, Central Maine Power Company’s hired gun to push its unpopular NECEC Corridor project, wrote a guest column (July 19) that was ripe with mistruths. Quite frankly, it was insulting to the hundreds of Mainers who delivered tens of thousands of signatures to qualify the referendum for the ballot. Our volunteer effort was impressive, covering nearly every single municipality in Maine, and it was driven by the determination of everyday Mainers who want to protect this beautiful state from greedy foreign corporations.
While it’s convenient for Breed to omit the massive grassroots effort or write our volunteers off as “fossil fuel corporations,” the truth is our effort is driven by neighbors and community members. The pool of opposition to CMP’s terrible project is deep, and it includes nearly every environmental group in the state — the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Guides Association, the AMC, Patagonia and Trout Unlimited.
That unique coalition joined together to give the people of Maine a say in this for-profit project.
Breeds’ employer, a Spanish-owned company, has done everything in its power to strip Mainers of their constitutional right to vote on this referendum. He claims our effort violated Maine election law, but we have been validated by Maine’s highest court.
He claimed that Mainers are ungrateful for the generosity CMP has shown with its benefits package. He has a point there. It’s hardly adequate compensation for the irreparable damage this project would inflict. When broken down, CMP’s “benefits” package is worth a mere $0.41 per Mainer per month. The discounted power Hydro-Quebec just threw into the mix to make the proposal “even better” amounts to just $0.12 per Mainer per month. It’s hard to believe that Mainers will even notice their $0.53 per month windfall considering that, this year alone, CMP has increased rates by $4.23 per month.
Meanwhile, CMP’s foreign stakeholders will make $2 billion in profit and Hydro-Quebec, owned exclusively by the Province of Quebec, will make $51 million per month.
Mainers have been clear from the start that this is a bad deal. I’m proud to lead the grassroots effort to give Mainers the opportunity to say “Yes” to repeal CMP’s Public Utilities Commission permit.
Finally, contrary to Breeds’ claim that we offer “no plan of their own to bring more renewable power onto the grid,” I’d like to remind Mainers that this project is one of 45 proposals to bring renewable energy onto the grid for Massachusetts ratepayers. There are plenty of alternatives, including a fully-permitted project in Vermont.
CMP’s project may be the cheapest option for Massachusetts, but it’s the worst deal for Maine.
Sandra Howard, Caratunk
Director, Say NO to NECEC 501c3
Principal officer, No CMP Corridor PAC