Re: “Letter to the editor: Referendum can’t stop Hydro-Quebec line,” by Orlando Delogu (Feb. 17):

The author is mistaken. The Maine Constitution, Article IV, Part 3, Section 18 says: “The electors (voters) may propose … any bill, resolve, or resolution … .” The referendum is a resolve to direct the Public Utilities Commission to lawfully retract its decision to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the New England Clean Energy Connect project. Just to be clear: A resolve is a written motion, which is a formal proposal, that a deliberative assembly take certain action, which is exactly what the wording in the initiative states.

To quote from the initiative: “The amended order must find that the construction and operation of the NECEC transmission project are not in the public interest and that there is not a public need for the NECEC transmission project. There not being a public need, the amended order must deny the request for a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the NECEC transmission project.”

The wording in the resolution is for a very specific action, which holds the PUC to its purpose (as stated in Maine Statutes Title 35-A, Part 1): “To ensure that there is a regulatory system for public utilities in the State … that is consistent with the public interest.” There is no more accurate way to measure public interest than a statewide vote. If the state votes for the PUC to reverse its decision, then the PUC must do so under the statute of its existence.

Troy Hull


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