Mills Says She Won't Get Involved In Potential Ballot Campaign Over CMP Transmission Line

November 13, 2019

By Steve Mistler

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills says she does not plan to get involved in a potential ballot campaign that could determine whether Central Maine Power (CMP) can build a controversial transmission line through Western Maine, even though she supports the project.

Opponents of the transmission line are still gathering signatures for a referendum that would allow voters to decide its fate next November.

But CMP, through a political action committee called Clean Energy Matters, is not waiting to kick off its influence campaign. The group announced Tuesday that it has begun airing a television ad called "Good Questions," a spot acknowledging that the 145-mile project has sparked concerns in the minds of Maine citizens.

The ad was released alongside two endorsements from the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and a union of electrical workers.

But Gov. Mills, who earlier this year announced support for the project, did not join the campaign rollout, and she isn't listed on the campaign website as a backer.

In a statement, Mills' office says that she supports the project, in part, because of its purported carbon reduction impacts and a benefits package that includes funding for broadband expansion, subsidies for heat pumps, and scholarships.

But the statement also says the governor doesn't see a role for herself in the campaign, and highlights her commitment to a separate matter — an investigation into CMP's customer billing issues

"Governor Mills believes CMP owes Maine people complete and direct answers about their billing errors, why they happened, and how they are fixing them," the statement read. "The Governor’s Energy Office will be an active participant in this investigation to ensure that these issues are resolved and that CMP is held accountable."

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Weymouth gas project gets final state OK

More legal challenges are planned against compressor station

Chris Lisinski Nov 12, 2019

A CONTROVERSIAL NATURAL GAS PROJECT planned for a densely populated waterfront area cleared the final major permitting hurdle Tuesday, further riling opponents who had hoped state regulators would reverse course.

After delaying its review process for more than two years, the Massachusetts Office of Coastal and Zone Management announced Tuesday that the Weymouth compressor station and permits previously awarded by other state agencies for the project are “consistent with the policies of the Commonwealth’s federally approved coastal management program,” Energy and Environmental Affairs spokesperson Katie Gronendyke said in a statement.

The decision concludes the state’s environmental permitting process with all necessary approvals granted. Local groups have already filed legal appeals and will likely do so with the latest ruling as well.

Sen. Patrick O’Connor, a Weymouth Republican, told the News Service that CZM’s announcement is a “significant blow,” particularly in the wake of a WBUR report that utility companies Eversource and National Grid see the additional fuel capacity from the compressor — planned as part of the Atlantic Bridge pipeline stretching through New England into Canada — as unnecessary to meet customer demand.

“In most other businesses that are not the energy industry, I think that would be enough to say, ‘alright, well, if the two major suppliers of this project don’t need it, we probably shouldn’t waste our money or our infrastructure,'” O’Connor said. “This shines an even brighter light that this is not for consumption in Massachusetts.”

O’Connor said opponents, which include community groups, most of the Massachusetts Senate, and a portion of the congressional delegation, will appeal CZM’s decision, but have not yet determined whether the challenge goes to the Department of Commerce or directly to court.

Petitioners previously filed a lawsuit contesting the Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to uphold an air-quality permit after a rocky appeals process.

“While this appears to be a blow to all those opposing this project — including the Towns of Weymouth, Braintree, and Hingham and the City of Quincy — we will not allow this siting to go forward,” Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station Executive Director Alice Arena said in a statement. “We will continue to fight this ill-conceived scheme by all means available and necessary. That the contracts for this gas are falling by the wayside on a daily basis tells CZM, DEP, and Governor Baker that this compressor station will be nothing more than a stranded asset for which the ratepayers will be held responsible.”

O’Connor also said he believes those frustrated by the project need to “restrategize” and take the fight back to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which already approved the project plan.

“Generally speaking, there’s just so many question marks when it comes to this project in particular that we have to send this fight back to the federal government,” O’Connor said. “We need our allies in Congress to get out and at least get us in front of FERC to make our case.”

The project has been controversial since it was proposed. Environmental activists warn that its operations run counter to the state’s emissions reduction goals, and residents in the area — which has faced pollution from industrial sites for decades — have expressed fears about potential health impacts.

Energy giant Enbridge, which is seeking to build the facility, defended its plans, describing the station as an important piece of infrastructure to meet the region’s energy needs.

“The proposed Weymouth compressor station is required to help us serve the needs of the Atlantic Bridge project customers located generally north of Weymouth, including local gas utilities in Maine and Atlantic Canada,” Enbridge spokesperson Max Bergeron said in a Tuesday email. “In certain cases, greater access to natural gas helps replace more carbon-intensive and more expensive sources of energy, helping consumers realize environmental benefits and cost savings.”

Bergeron said the company was “pleased” with CZM’s decision.

Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund wrote to CZM last week asking for additional review based on the limited interest from utilities, which he said rendered the compressor unnecessary for about 60 percent of the pipeline capacity.

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Comment by Willem Post on November 16, 2019 at 11:44am

The emissions of wood burning stoves are tested under laboratory conditions , using a selected, oven-dry wood fuel. The testing bear only a passing relationship to how the stoves are used in the real world.


Second, studies have shown that the performance of EPA-certified wood stoves, especially with catalytic reactors, deteriorate over time.

Thus, the wood stove data reflect a ‘best case scenario’ of new stove performance under laboratory conditions.

Natural gas and propane fuels, defined by ASTM standards, burn much more cleanly than wood, leading to near-zero particulate emissions.

Wood is largely undefined. It has varying quality, composition and water content leading to varying burn rates and varying particulate emissions.


Table 6 shows the low PM emissions of 2 g/h can be achieved, if the flyash portion of the ash is 3% or less of the total ash content of the wood; 97% would be in the bottom of the stove. All that during steady conditions near rated output, in a laboratory, with a prepared fuel sample.


The PM emissions for the 80% efficient stove would be 1000000/50000 x 1.98 = 39.6 g/million Btu, or 0.087 lb/million Btu.


NOTE: Medium-size hot water boilers, with cyclonic separators to catch particles larger than 5 micrometer followed by fabric filters to catch particles smaller than one micrometer, to heat a college campus, typically have less than 0.020 lb/million Btu.


Table 6/Fuel input


Heat output

Allowed PM

Actual PM released































Ash content, %, dry


HHV, Btu/lb, dry


Flyash fraction




Comment by Willem Post on November 13, 2019 at 10:17pm

The gas pipeline and pumping station should go forward, because nuclear plants will be closing by the time all is built. 

The gas would be used to generate low cost electricity, at about 5 c/KWh to replace the low cost nuclear electricity.

The gas electricity would not be variable, not be intermittent, unlike wind and solar electricity.

Wind and solar electricity require huge subsidies plus they are variable and intermittent and COULD NOT even exist on the ne grid without using the other generators as a crutch, plus their junk electricity is much more expensive, about 9c for wind and 11c for solar per kWh.

The people who oppose the gas line and the pumping station are seriously deranged in their thinking, and likely have not a clue regarding the analysis and design of energy systems.

They mindlessly opposé anything they don’t like.

Comment by Art Brigades on November 13, 2019 at 7:50pm

Mills actually showed leadership on this issue earlier in the year. She did her homework, did the math, worked for an even better deal. The knee-jerk reaction to NECEC is naturally against, but considering the alternatives, the demand, and the impacts vs benefits, she made the right call.  And she advocated for it. Now apparently she will play Pontius Pilate as she stands before an uninformed, emotional rabble. Wimp.


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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