Officials at Baxter State Park are distancing themselves from an advertisement from Hydro-Quebec, backers of a major transmission line through Maine, that features a photo of the park.

An ad covering facing pages – which ran in the Portland Press Herald and other Maine newspapers on Friday  – shows a verdant photo of Baxter State Park, including part of Mount Katahdin, next to another lush image: Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, a provincial park in the Laurentian Mountains north of the St. Lawrence River.

“We stand together to reduce CO2 emissions,” the ad says.

Baxter State Park issued a statement Saturday pointing out that it had “no affiliation with Hydro Quebec” and was not consulted in the making of the ad.

“Baxter State Park has no position on any Hydro Quebec project, or Central Maine Power’s proposed NECEC project,” said the statement from Eben Sypitkowski, the park’s director.

Hydro-Quebec is a public utility in the Canadian province of Quebec that produces electricity from 63 hydroelectric generating stations, according to its website. The Canadian utility has been working for years to build a transmission line through northern New England to carry power to potential buyers farther south.


The latest version of that vision is called New England Clean Energy Connect, a 145-mile transmission line that CMP proposes to build through Maine. The project has sparked debate over its potential environmental effects, and Hydro-Quebec in recent months has run ads on social media touting its commitment to the environment.

As proposed, the transmission line would run southwest of, but not through, Baxter State Park.

“The intent of the ad is to show that Québec and Maine are neighbours who share many common values, particularly concerning the fight against climate change,” Catherine Savoie, a spokeswoman for Hydro-Québec, said in an email Saturday evening.

Savoie said the ad also was meant to engage Mainers in conversation about Clean Energy Connect, and was part of a larger effort by the company to “share information about hydropower and its benefits for everyone living in the Northeast.”

“Our only intention in this ad was to highlight the beauty of Baxter State Park and the Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, and our firm commitment to fight climate change and preserve these natural spaces,” she said.

A spokeswoman for CMP declined a request for an interview about the newspaper ad, saying it was a Hydro-Quebec initiative.

CMP has already made plans to start construction on the energy corridor this spring, despite the possibility of a referendum to block it. State officials are still validating signatures for the referendum that were submitted near the beginning of February.

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