The creator of the New England Clean Energy Connect commercial currently running most likely would have earned an “A” in my messages and media class. I taught students one of the most persuasive advertising techniques is “emotional appeal”: manipulating viewers to be fearful of what might happen by using inaccuracies disguised as truth. Writers of this type of ad want to scare viewers into thinking of horrible consequences as a result of a certain action. The ad indicates voting yes to stop one project sets a bad precedent that will allow the Legislature to make retroactive changes at any time.
However, this same student would have received an “F” in the reading comprehension lessons that taught students to separate fact from opinion.
The reality is that Question 1 is specific to the Upper Kennebec Valley and high-impact transmission line projects. Not roads, bridges or your back deck. The rest of the referendum is retroactive to 2014, the date those opposed submitted the petition. At the time, CMP did not have all necessary permits; they had not begun construction; and the validity of their public lands leases were being considered by the court. CMP proceeded anyway at its own risk.
Don’t be fooled by an advertising gimmick used to create fear. Passing Question 1 will have no effect on current construction.
As the ad instructs, I encourage you to read the fine print of their ad. Note it is paid for by Hydro-Quebec, a government-owned corporation, which has spent more than $10 million to influence the outcome of this referendum.
Retroactive is not the key word as the ad claims: reject is. Vote yes on Question 1 to reject the corridor.