BDN Editorial Board: No on Question 1: The referendum is an overreach that could have far-reaching negative implications
CMP corridor: Watch live tonight at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion on the facts about Question 1
According to the ads, Question 1 is about many things: the future of a $1 billion powerline project through western Maine, public sentiment about Central Maine Power, whether the Legislature should vote on major projects running through public lands, and whether that power should be retroactive. Join us for a virtual journalists’ roundtable discussion about the referendum that cuts through the myths, answers your questions, and gets to the truth. Judy Meyer, Executive Editor of the Sun Journal, Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal, moderates.
Watch Live - journalists' roundtable on Monday, Oct. 18 at 6:30 p.m. to explore the facts.
WATCH HERE AT 6:30PM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNzFT33fzQg
CMP's $1 billion project has been painted both as a clean-energy link and as a scar across the Maine landscape, and some ads have made it seem to be about something other than a power transmission line.
By Tux Turkel Staff Writer
In July 2017, Central Maine Power put in a bid for a project meant to supply New England with a big slug of clean, renewable energy.
Massachusetts was leading the region into a war against the ravages of climate change. It saw a new transmission line that could import excess hydroelectric power from Canada through northern New England as one weapon in the arsenal. And after New Hampshire rejected a transmission line proposal through its state in 2018, CMP’s project was selected.
Four years later, the $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect project is under construction. Land is being cleared and poles erected. But rather than being widely embraced as a green-power solution for New England, NECEC has triggered one of the most divisive and expensive environmental battles in Maine history. Now the fight is reaching a climax, in court, at regulatory agencies, in the media and at the ballot box.
It’s an unusual battle in some regards. Most times, opponents try to stop a project from being started. The game here is to stop NECEC from being completed.
To meet contracts with Massachusetts utilities that already have been delayed years, NECEC and its investor-owned parent company took a high-stakes gamble. They have spent more than $350 million on equipment, labor, permitting and construction, calculating that they ultimately will prevail. And that doesn’t include more than $34 million on record-breaking campaign spending to fight the corridor referendum.
It’s also a perplexing fight for some voters just tuning in, because Question 1 may appear to be about something other than a transmission line...........................
........................A Maine Superior Court judge in August voided a lease across the one-mile stretch of public lands after ruling that state officials failed to properly conduct a review to decide whether the line significantly altered the land. CMP and the state are appealing the ruling, but the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is holding a hearing Tuesday on whether it should suspend the permit. Meanwhile, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court is allowing construction to continue during the appeal, except on the public lands.
Amid uncertainty, voters will weigh in on whether they think the project should continue and whether to expand the role of the Legislature in approving similar power lines in the future. Whatever the outcome, more legal challenges can be expected.
Q: What happens if I vote yes? Or if I vote no?
A: The ballot question’s wording flips around its actual purpose by asking residents to vote affirmatively to ban something.
Read the entire article at: https://www.pressherald.com/2021/10/17/qa-on-question-1-will-transm...
The New England Clean Energy Connect project's future could hinge on whether it can cross over a short section of public land.