I’m one of the thousands of people opposed to Central Maine Power’s power line.

At an informational meeting in Jackman, Gerry Mirabile, CMP’s environmental permitting manager, said that the spot where the power line would cross the Kennebec Gorge “isn’t rated high value” for scenic significance.

CMP is out of touch: I’m a raft guide, and for the past 34 years, my rafters have admired the beauty of the Kennebec and the refreshing feeling of being away from development. Now my rafters could have a front-row view of high-tension power lines from the riverside spot where we have stopped and served lunch to our guests for the last 20 years.

Constructing power lines near natural resources worthy of protection sets a dangerous precedent for a state dependent on its outdoor tourism economy. And is it really so audacious that the people who live and work in this region want to protect this beautiful river? Who decided that CMP’s profits are more important than these values?

But it’s not just about the Kennebec Gorge. People in towns along the proposed transmission line are negotiating with CMP to get more money from them to compensate for how offensive the line is, but the conversation should stop there.

This power line is bad for Maine, and we don’t want it. We don’t want it to slice through the globally significant North Woods for a corridor as wide as a football field for 53.5 miles. We don’t want a power line that crisscrosses near protected lands meant to safeguard critical fisheries and wildlife habitat. Then there’s the lack of green practices by Hydro-Quebec.

We don’t want CMP/Avangrid’s power line: not over the river, not under the river, not at Harris Station Dam, not through 53.5 miles from the Canadian border to The Forks, not at all.

Eric Sherman


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