Governor Janet Mills and the legislature are heading towards expropriation of CMP (Avangrid) 145 mile transmission line from Hydro Quebec to Lewiston.
During a six hour stipulation hearing before the PUC not one intervenor asked the commissioners about this, yet the Governor had categorically stated on 03/01 "importantly, the stipulation creates a new special purpose entity (euphemism for State Owned Enterprise) not CMP to build and operate this transmission line".
CMP created a new entity named NECEC,LLC to accomplish this ,indicating the fix was in. As soon as Reps.Seth Berry and Nicole Grohoski (who delineated the plan in an editorial in the Ellsworth American on 02/20) introduce this bill to the full legislature ,the vote to expropriate the asset or assets from CMP and Emera will be an accomplished fact, albeit at a very high price. But why stop there ? Put Humpty Dumpty back together again. Lets just buy CMP, EMERA ,dams from Brookfield and Nextera and we will be back where we were before 1999 when our wise legislature copied Montana and forced the separation of each of our two utilities generating assets from their less valuable transmission assets. Bangor Hydro and CMP insiders and stockholders got rich on the sale of CMP to IBERDROLA (Spain) and Bangor Hydro to EMERA (Canada) while we ratepayers, voters and residents got the usual shaft.
Now, twenty years later we will be told to do it all over again in the name of renewables, climate change, EV's(charging stations from Jackman to Lewiston). This Public Power grab will end up costing us multi billions, create a new bureaucracy, enrich the IBEW workers and bankrupt the taxpayers. The Transmission line and corridor alone are priceless. Only 150 feet of the 300 ft width is going to be used. But I'll bet a Natural Gas pipeline from Montreal to Searsport will eventually be built. Take that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker!!!
So, to finish this rant, between Ranked Choice Voting,and the election itself we Mainers have really shot ourselves in the foot except for two unintended consequences. The first, Nextera won't build their 133 turbines in the Franklin and Somerset Counties and just maybe Peter Mills will run against his sister in four years.