Mills’ vetoes of CMP bills survive override votes in House

AUGUSTA — The Maine House voted Thursday to uphold Gov. Janet Mills’ vetoes of two bills sought by opponents of Central Maine Power’s controversial transmission line proposal.

One bill, L.D. 1383, would have required electric utilities to obtain approval from local governments before using eminent domain to take private land for transmission line projects. Supporters failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to overturn Mills’ veto in the House on a 79-64 vote.


The second measure, L.D. 1363, would require an electric utility to receive approval from two-thirds of the municipalities through which a transmission line project passes. The veto override vote failed 75-68 Thursday.

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Mills Vetoes Bills That Target CMP Transmission Project

Gov. Janet Mills Wednesday vetoed two bills aimed at establishing more stringent standards for the approval of electric transmission lines. 

The bills passed the Legislature by large majorities. Rep. Seth Berry, of Bowdoinham, says the governor should not have vetoed them.

“It does not come as a surprise, but it is a mistake," Berry says. "This is a new kind of project, it’s a new ball game, if you will, that is being played, and we need rules that are commensurate with that ball game.”

Gov. Mills says the two bills, one that would give municipal officials say over use of eminent domain for power lines and another giving affected towns veto power on siting, grant too much control to a single community on a project serving many cities and towns.

Governor vetoes bills that target CMP transmission project

Gov. Janet Mills, who has supported the project, says it would be ‘poor public policy’ to give local governments the ability to block the project.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Wednesday vetoed two bills aimed at creating obstacles for Central Maine Power’s proposed 145-mile transmission project in western Maine.

Mills called the proposals to give local governments the ability to block the project “poor public policy.” She said Wednesday that the bills would give towns disproportionate power over a project with statewide benefits and would discourage private investment by upsetting established regulatory and permitting procedures.

The $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect aims to bring Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid to help Massachusetts meet its clean energy goals. Massachusetts will fund the project.

Sandi Howard, director of Say NO to NECEC, accused the governor of siding with “foreign corporations” over “the will of Maine people.”

“As town, county, and state representatives learned more about the CMP corridor, they realized what a bad deal it is for Maine and rescinded support. Unfortunately, Governor Mills sided with foreign corporations that will make a huge profit,” she said.

Supporters say the project will reduce carbon pollution and lower energy prices in Maine.


The project calls for building a high-voltage power line from Beattie Township, Maine, on the Canadian border to the regional power grid in Lewiston, Maine.

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Comment by Penny Gray on June 15, 2019 at 2:00pm

Does this mean ANY business in Maine can take privately held lands by eminent domain, or just power companies operating for "the greater good"?  Does this include industrial wind?

Comment by Lenny Murphy on June 14, 2019 at 11:33am

Maine has enough water power to supply most of the country with truly clean water power, what are we waiting for?! Few should be competing with water power because they can't, free truly clean power 24 hours every day! Introduce small and large water power to our schools and we can sell water power to the world with new jobs and instating small and large water powered systems world wide! With todays advances we do not need the problematic dams just pipe water down to generating stations, no need to dam the entire river unless floor control and water preservation is needed, etc.! time to get real!

Comment by Donna Amrita Davidge on June 14, 2019 at 8:51am


Comment by Willem Post on June 13, 2019 at 7:26pm

Screw local control, says Mills

Mill says we are saving the world, even if that means destroying Maine's way of life, and absolutely no one will stop us

Sounds totalitarian to me.

Replace Mills with a Page-like person for some sanity.


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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