With our energy bills so high right now, I hope voters will take a fresh look at the New England Clean Energy Connect.

The benefits of the project are twofold. Not only would it help reduce energy costs because it would provide us with another option for the New England grid, it would also help keep our property taxes down.

For those that live in Lewiston, the corridor would provide $7 million in property taxes annually for 40 years once construction is finalized.

Area residents and businesses have already felt the impact of these property tax payments. In 2021 and 2022, when construction was just starting, Lewiston received payments totaling $1.5 million.

But without the corridor, those benefits will go away, and our local taxes, already under extreme pressure, will go up.

Another major benefit would be savings on electric bills. The Maine Public Utilities Commission found that the project could cut electricity costs in Maine by about $63 million per year, and on top of that, the project would pay $140 million over 40 years into a rate relief fund for Maine consumers. Low-income customers would also benefit from a $50 million low-income customer benefits fund.

I love Maine and love living here. If we are to truly become a state that leads the way into a renewable energy future, projects like the NECEC must move forward.

It is good for Maine, both economically and environmentally.

Robert Stone, Auburn

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