The New England Clean Energy Corridor (NECEC) is employing more than 1,000 Maine workers in well-paying jobs and generating millions of dollars for local vendors.

Municipalities that host portions of the project are receiving millions in new tax dollars beginning this year, based on NECEC’s estimate that one-third of the endeavor’s value is in place. This annual flow of tax revenue will grow over the next few years as the transmission line and converter station are completed.

The corridor benefits Farmington-based schools (Regional School Unit 9). With over 17 miles of corridor valued at $3 million a mile in the district, the project would add over $50 million to the district’s tax base without adding any costs.

Impacts of NECEC have been hotly debated in the public arena. Relative state and federal regulatory agencies have vetted the project and granted permits.

Despite these accomplishments, fossil fuel-funded opposition, some environmental groups, and certain members of the political class are doing all in their power to obstruct the project. These actions are a detriment to the region’s environment and economy.

As voters approach the referendum on the project, they should consider how the question targets NECEC and other large infrastructure improvements, will cost Mainers jobs and is likely to drive potential investment away from our state.

Also of concern is the retroactive provisions of this referendum vote. Changing rules after a project has started is a dangerous game.

I ask people to vote no on Question 1.

Paul Frederic, Starks, former Maine Land Use Regulation Commission director

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