Maine would be very foolish to sacrifice one of its most valuable assets, its pristine wilderness, to a company that is furnishing electricity to another state. We are responsible neither for providing Massachusetts with electricity nor for lining Quebec’s pockets. We are responsible for protecting our most valuable asset, and once it is developed it will be gone forever.

Furthermore, so far Central Maine Power has demonstrated more concern for sending profits back to Spain than for taking care of its customers.

It is also important to remember that while hydro energy is cleaner than many other forms of energy, it is not without an environmental price – streams and rivers are dammed, thus interrupting the natural flow of water. The migration of fish from the ocean is also interrupted, thereby negatively affecting the ecology of large areas of wetland and their surrounding forests.

As Mainers, we need to take the long view, both in terms of the consequences of our actions and in terms of the future we want to build. Both solar energy and wind energy are emerging rapidly and offer enormous opportunities for Maine to be more energy independent and environmentally sound.

Gov. Mills should support energy entrepreneurs within our state. Habib Dagher at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has developed floating windmills that could provide wind energy from a small area in the Gulf of Maine, lighting up not only Maine, but possibly much of New England as well. More and more solar companies such as ReVision Energy are converting rooftops and otherwise unusable areas into solar generators.

Their efforts are already having an impact on the profile of Maine’s current energy usage. They are the most environmentally sound alternative. They are the future.

Richard McWilliams