After two and a half years reviewing the Clean Energy Corridor, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection found that “the area that Segment 1 (of the corridor) would traverse is not untouched wilderness, but instead mostly consists of intensively managed commercial timberland,” (Findings of Fact and Order, page 54, May 11, 2020).

My career as a state wildlife biologist, executive director of the Maine Audubon Society and commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation was concurrent with the environmental movement taking root in the public consciousness and in our laws. From the start, good science and reliable fact-finding were foundations of our movement, one that is this month marking 51 years of Earth Day.

So, it troubles me to see core environmental values of truth give way to distortion and falsehood when it comes to the Clean Energy Corridor. Those who mischaracterize the corridor as crossing untouched wilderness either do not know the truth or willfully ignore it.

An open mind is all that’s needed to see that this region is already bisected by an old and still-operating railroad, contains a sizable wind farm and related transmission lines, has been commercially logged for over a century and is crisscrossed with hundreds of miles of logging roads.

That same open mind will tell you that the scale of action required to address climate change (and the risks if we don’t act) are monumental. The longer we take to accept reasonable tradeoffs, the harder the solutions become.

Richard Anderson, Portland

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