The following is excerpted from a citizen's testimony given on 11/24/08 at the PUC Public Witness Hearing in Lewiston regarding the so called Maine Power Reliability Program Consisting of the Construction of Approximately 350 Miles of 34.5 kV and 115 kV Transmission Lines (MPRP). I found it quite invigorating to read. It sure sounds familiar.
I'm part of an organization called Clark Mountain Sanctuary which is a conservation organization that's an abutter to the power line corridor in Greene. I'm also here speaking generally as a concerned citizen. First, I want to say that I'm really honored to be speaking with my fellow citizens here in this room who have done such incredible research to learn about the issues, research that none of us are paid to do and it appears that the folks that are paid to do it may not actually be doing that research, so I want to honor the people in the room who are doing what others are paying others to do. I want to say that this whole model of economic development that's represented here by these power lines is a bankrupt model of economic development. We are talking about a continuation of a long tradition of what some people might call colonialism here in Maine. This is a tradition of Maine being a place where we generate things and we generate resources and we ship them out of state for the profit of large corporations and a small group of wealthy elite. And this continues that tradition quite well.
When I look at the name of this hearing, the power reliability hearing, and I learn we have learned earlier that that is actually directly from CMP's proposal, it sounds to me like you just took some of CMP's propaganda and turned it into the name of the public hearing, so that makes me wonder who you are actually working for. I mean it's not it's not too hard to see that this actually is about shipping power out of state and it's not just about reliability for the people of Maine. So again, we know who pays you, but who are you actually working for? I've been to a lot of public hearings. It's clear to me that public hearings are not are very rarely if ever actually public listenings. It's not a democratic process to have appointed commissioners make decisions and not be accountable to the citizens. I just want to be clear about that. And I want to remind people in this room that if we are going to create democracy in this situation, we need to organize and we need to organize outside this room and we need to apply pressure in all kinds of different ways. There's a sign up sheet out on the table for people who want to get involved in that process. And I also just want to end with a quick little story. After the revolutionary war, the great proprietors from Massachusetts claimed that they owned Maine. Meanwhile, all kinds of Mainers were settling down and doing hard work to create farms here. And when the great proprietors sent their surveyors to Maine communities to try to evict people so they could continue that process of colonialism, these farmers in Lewiston and Greene and Leeds and other towns all along this power line corridor organized. And in the middle of the night, they dressed up in costumes and they ran the surveyors off. And I want to suggest that if this process continues like the runaway train that it looks like it's going to be, that we might want to learn a little bit from our predecessors. Thank you.
Note: Copies of these PUC transcripts are on file in the "Documents" section of this website and can be easily downloaded.