Legislators Battle with Gov LePage Over CMP’s Proposed Transmission Line

hursday, May 31, 2018 7:19 AM

Gov. Paul LePage and Central Maine Power are battling it out with environmental groups, local power generators and a bipartisan group of legislators over a proposed $950 million electrical transmission line from Lewiston to Quebec. The 146-mile New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), which is a joint effort of CMP and Hydro-Québec, would bring 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts through the existing regional grid to comply with the Bay State’s renewable energy goals.

CMP argues that the high-voltage line, which will be paid for by Massachusetts, will create jobs, provide tax revenue to rural communities along the route and replace millions of metric tons of carbon-emitting power.

However, Sen. Tom Saviello (R-Franklin Cty.) and Rep. Ralph Tucker (D-Brunswick), the chairs of the Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and Sen. David Woodsome (R-York Cty.) and Rep. Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham), the chairs of the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, expressed strong opposition to the proposal in a May 4 letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.

“We oppose the project because we see no clear economic or climate benefit to Maine people,” wrote the four legislative leaders. “Specifically, we are concerned that NECEC: 1: Will not reduce and may actually increase total greenhouse emissions, 2. May result in lost jobs, tax revenue, and energy investment in Maine, and 3. Does not offer meaningful financial benefits to the people of Maine.”

Gov. LePage, a staunch NECEC proponent, was enraged by their letter. In a letter of his own, dated May 22, to Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the governor complained that the legislators “may have left recipients with the impression that these individuals acted with some legislative authority,” but that neither the Maine House nor Senate “directed or even condoned this letter, nor did the committees on which these individuals serve.”

Read the full article here:

https://freepressonline.com/Content/Home/Homepage-Rotator/Article/L...

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Comment by Dan McKay on June 2, 2018 at 7:18am

A Statement made by four scoundrels who would sell out every Western Maine town for wind and solar, Vote them out. 
“We understand and appreciate that Central Maine Power has done significant outreach to local municipalities within the project corridor,” wrote the four committee chairs in their letter to Massachusetts regulators. “However, this outreach appears to have been conducted in revenue-starved municipalities, and support for the project may be based solely on the idea that this is the only option available to them. We disagree.”

Comment by Dan McKay on June 1, 2018 at 6:27pm

If free market principles applied to the energy industry, instead of environmental antagonists and entrenched overpriced natural gas generators pulling on the ears of numb nut legislators, Maine has been presented a move to cheaper, better power and an out to an energy pool run by Masshole lawmakers and deadhead ratepayers and with their money supporting it.

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Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT (excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?"  http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” http://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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