Aroostook power corridor faces opposition from landowners

Legislative malpractice the level of which has not seen since the passage without debate of the 2008 Expedited Wind Law. FOLLOW THE MONEY and put an end to this broad daylight robbery of Mainers. There is no way these gangsters won't be repelled if the fighters keep fighting. LS Power is just now realizing what they have walked into. Send them packing along with the gang from First Wind that is Long Road.

By Tux Turkel
November 26, 2023

Tux Turkel is a former staff writer at the Portland Press Herald who covered statewide energy, environmental and utility issues for over four decades. A graduate of Emerson College in Boston, he currently is working as a freelance journalist.


................But already the Aroostook line is beginning to feel reminiscent of another controversial corridor — the troubled New England Clean Energy Connect project, the six-year effort by Central Maine Power’s parent company to build an overhead transmission line from Quebec to Lewiston.

After years of court battles, a citizens referendum was overturned in April and work was allowed to resume. Crews are being reassembled to finish the now-estimated $1.5 billion project, the company said, with plans to energize the line in 2025.

Meanwhile the Rolfsons, and neighbors in Albion, Palermo, Freedom, Thorndike and Unity, are organizing in opposition to the Aroostook line.

They have held protest rallies. They set up a Facebook page with 1,000 members and created a citizen group, Preserve Rural Maine. They’ve hired a Portland attorney with experience fighting transmission lines, including NECEC.

Nearly a dozen towns have enacted temporary moratoriums.

This wasn’t supposed to happen.

The 2021 citizens’ initiative aimed at killing NECEC also contained unprecedented language that requires the legislature to approve any new “high-impact electric transmission lines.”

The idea was to provide a check on developers seeking to push projects through communities that opposed them. The Aroostook line was the first test of the new law and, based on the fight brewing here, it’s not working as planned.

Two problems are becoming obvious. First, rank-and-file lawmakers were asked by key legislative leaders to endorse the project before even knowing where the transmission corridor would run. Second, language in an initial 2021 transmission line bill encouraged new lines to be located in existing rights-of-way or corridors “whenever feasible.” But feasible is a broad term, leaving it to developers to assess what’s technically and financially doable.

The prospect of new transmission corridors going through resistive communities has led some lawmakers to take a step back.

Eleven relevant bills were proposed for the upcoming legislative session, ranging from study alternatives to preventing eminent domain takeovers to rescinding approval altogether. None got the initial go-ahead this month from the Legislative Council, the 10-member leadership body that controls the flow of legislation, although one was granted on appeal...................................

.................................“My big concern,” said Rep. Steven Foster, R-Dexter, “is that we’re approving this line, it’s going through 41 communities, but there was no real input during the legislative process before the approval was made.”

Foster, who serves on the legislative committee that handles energy matters, represents towns through which the line could pass.

He proposed a bill for the upcoming session to reconsider the project’s PUC approval. It was rejected by leadership in early November, along with all but one of the proposed remedial measures — a bid from Sen. Chip Curry, D-Waldo, to prevent eminent domain from being used to build the line.

This map depicts the proposed route of the power line, along with their farmhouse (Home 1), a planned family house and existing dwellings. Map courtesy Eric Rolfson.

“I think (Senate) President Jackson and others are determined to get this project done,” Foster said. “And I’ll leave it at that.”...............................

Please read the full article at


Ban the damn thing outright with ordinances. It's all for a useless BS wind project that is built on pure lies, designed solely to enrich the same crew who ran First Wind and destroyed many a Maine resident's paradise.

Forget about arguing for a different route. Stop it cold altogether. Study "green energy" seriously and you will soon understand that it is the largest crock of total Bsh_t that has come along in our lifetimes. Those in favor of renewable energy need to take a closer look and trade political correctness for common sense and careful study. Power line opponents who praise wind power or simply object to the power line's particular route might want to read up on Stockholm Syndrome. Lauding the developers' plans is read as weakness and weakness emboldens their ilk. The goal of 100% renewable energy is delusional and a road back to the stone age. You are being played. The window for being naive is closing. Do not believe a single word of any promises made to you by the power line pushers.


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Comment by Penny Gray on November 26, 2023 at 5:30pm

Troy Jackson hasn't changed either.  I hope you're right, Dan, and  I hope these landowners continue to fight for their land.  We are the stewards of one of the most beautiful states in the nation. Farms and forests are green, not transmission lines running through family farms and six hundred foot wind turbines with blinking lights sprawling over our mountains and ridge lines.

Comment by Dan McKay on November 26, 2023 at 4:27pm

Tux hasn't changed a bit. Still parroting the Wind Developer's line of reducing costs. Tux, get it straight, this project, unlike the opposition to NECEC, which was generated by CMP attacks, is opposed by abutting property owners. While the DEP gave NECEC a permit, they will have a reason to deny the LS Power permit because the highest priority in deciding a DEP permit is to owners of lands abutting the project and they are organized and disturbed. The PUC or legislators willing to stand strong would save the two opposing sides and the state taxpayers a whole lot of money and grief by bringing a quick end to this dead-end transmission proposal.

Comment by Richard McDonald/Saving Maine on November 26, 2023 at 12:51pm

Ordinances are a good first line of defense to fight this disaster. Moratoriums aren't strong enough to withstand a challenge. Hopefully, the expert Portland lawyer is clear on eminent domain vs ordinance - is an ordinance enough to withstand the eminent domain claim? Simple question.


Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power


Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

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 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?" 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.”

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"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."

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