Commentaries by Lloyd Irland, Richard Anderson and Richard Barringer, in support of Central Maine Power’s (CMP) New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC), have been disappointing.

They have not disputed that NECEC will cause forest fragmentation but argue that forest fragmentation has already occurred from logging roads and highways. Can further forest fragmentation be avoided?

They have not disagreed that NECEC will harm native brook trout but claim that global warming is a greater threat. Threaten the brook trout now with NECEC in order to save what remains from global warming. A form of zero-sum strategy.

Their claim that Hydro Quebec’s water spillage over its dams is an opportunity for increased hydro power generation was debunked months ago. The Massachusetts Attorney General has filed action against the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, arguing through expert testimony that its hydro power purchases from Quebec would result in the replacement of hydro power beyond New England with fossil fuel sources.

They have not disputed the serious environmental and natural resource impact from NECEC on wildlife habitats, cold water fisheries (native brook trout), wetlands, streams, valuable vernal pools and endangered wildlife documented in reports from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Maine Natural Areas Program, testimony from Janet S. McMahon, a consulting ecologist, and more recently in a letter from the Boston Office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.

NECEC will not tread lightly on the western Maine Mountains. Significantly less impactful alternative routes and design (underground) exist for this transmission line which CMP and regulators have thus far failed to explore.

John Nicholas


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