Tony Payne’s June 20 column concerning Maine’s water reads as if it was dictated at Nestle Corp. headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, and faxed to his desk for his rubber stamp.

Payne is the executive director of the Alliance for Maine’s Future, which is supposed to be a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization. “Nonprofits” shilling for corporations. That’s not exactly nonpartisan.

To try to equate the amount of water taken from a few acres in a remote area to the total industrial usage in the entire state is ludicrous.

To the people living in the vicinity of those few acres, the amount of water extracted is important, and not just a useless statistic. Just by using the federal government’s own information, there can be no long-term large scale extraction without some detrimental effects. The question is the “acceptability” of those effects.

The faster water is extracted, the faster pollutants percolate into the aquifer from the recharge area. People in Switzerland really don’t care if the wetlands of Shapleigh dry up, or the lake waters turn cloudy during the tourist season, but the residents of that town certainly do.

It is more alarming that a “nonprofit” trying to pass itself off as being concerned with the future of Maine’s economic development has not taken the time to research the “investor’s rights” clause, or the proportionality clause of the NAFTA or WTO agreements. There is indeed a difference between a local or inter-state corporation and an international corporation, and that is not cynicism, it is fact.

Perhaps it is his desire to crawl into bed with every major corporate entity that blinds him to the downside of this issue? Or is it just the money?


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