To the Editor:

I read the letters from Darryl Wood and Jonathan Carter (4-2-21) several times over, looking for their arguments against CMP corridor project.  Here’s what I found:

Hydro Quebec is rich, AND it’s not American.

CMP is rich, AND it’s not American.

Hydro Quebec has participated in lobbying Maine citizens and legislators.  This is legal, but would be illegal in Canada.  When Hydro Quebec built their dams, they damaged ecosystems.  The resulting reservoirs produce greenhouse gases.

Mr. Carter suggests that the solutions demanded by climate change can be accomplished with Mainer-owned wind and solar projects (which is rich coming from him – Google his past stances on wind power).

What cannot be found in either letter are details about how the project is actually bad for Mainers.  They omit research from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Maine PUC that suggests that the project will indeed reduce carbon emissions.  They don’t mention that CMP has cleared every regulatory hurdle in their planning.  They fail to note CMP owns all the land it seeks to cut, except for a tiny percentage, and they have agreements with those landowners.

What Mr. Wood and Mr. Carter do present are points that are emotional in nature, and not analytical.  “These companies stand to make a lot of money.” (That’s what companies do.  I expect we’d all like to see the companies in our 401ks make a lot of money.)  “These companies aren’t American.” (So what?)  “Maine citizens weren’t allowed to vote on the project.”  (Can you imagine if every zoning and land-use question in your town was put to a popular vote?  That’s what regulatory agencies are for.)

And they certainly don’t further any serious alternatives as to how to combat climate change.  I’m reminded of folks blathering about how the Affordable Care Act was going to destroy America, for years tried to repeal it, and never offered any rival plan for how to improve the country’s health care crisis.  Turns out, it was a step in the right direction.

The NECEC isn’t perfect.  I, too, prefer forests without power lines to forests with power lines.  But Corridor proponents argue that it’s a step in the battle to green our grid.  Its naysayers offer little in rational argument.  Instead, they rely on xenophobia, NIMBYism and CMP’s (well-earned) reputation for treating customers poorly.  If you have one, let’s see a better, competing plan.  Otherwise, we should be taking some first steps.

Shaun Riggs


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