AUGUSTA — The Maine House voted Thursday to uphold Gov. Janet Mills’ vetoes of two bills sought by opponents of Central Maine Power’s controversial transmission line proposal.

One bill, L.D. 1383, would have required electric utilities to obtain approval from local governments before using eminent domain to take private land for transmission line projects. Supporters failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to overturn Mills’ veto in the House on a 79-64 vote.

The second measure, L.D. 1363, would require an electric utility to receive approval from two-thirds of the municipalities through which a transmission line project passes. The veto override vote failed 75-68 Thursday.

Both bills were inspired, in part, by Central Maine Power’s controversial proposal to build a 145-mile, high-voltage transmission line through Maine to feed electricity from Hydro-Quebec into the New England power grid. Though the Maine Public Utilities Commission has granted the project a key certificate, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Land Use Planning Commission are still reviewing the company’s permit applications.

Mills supports the CMP project. In her veto letters, Mills called both bills “poor public policy” that would discourage much-needed investment in renewable energy in Maine.

“It is important for the state to have the ability to consider the broader implications of an energy infrastructure project without local veto authority,” Mills wrote on the eminent domain bill. “Otherwise, a small minority of interests may determine or impede the state’s ability to accomplish its renewable and clean energy objectives.”

A third bill, L.D. 640, that would have required an independent analysis of the CMP project’s impact on regional greenhouse gas emissions also failed to pass the Legislature.


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