In a Feb. 23 op-ed, Central Maine Power Executive Chairman David Flanagan was trying to make the case that his company is all behind a renewable-energy future. If that is the case, I wish his company would spend more resources getting the huge demand for local solar generation safely and efficiently tied into the grid rather than going door to door and producing commercials selling New England Clean Energy Connect.

It’s ironic that he touts Maine’s “natural beauty” and “unspoiled outdoor recreational opportunities” as a treasure, while his company pushes a power line project that will be an eyesore to one of the largest tracts of wilderness east of the Mississippi: a unique place offering some of the best trout fishing, snowmobiling, hiking and whitewater rafting anywhere in the region.

CMP believes it has every right to use its rights of way, obtained for serving the people of Maine, to set up large and unsightly infrastructure through dozens of communities solely to gain profits delivering power to Massachusetts. In return for the billions they and Hydro-Quebec reap, Mainers get temporary work and token exchanges for a lifetime of unsightly poles and lines dominating our once-remote and special landscape. Mr. Flanagan should acknowledge that thousands of Mainers signed a petition to get NECEC onto the ballot in hopes of putting an end to this obnoxious project.

It is time that CMP, as the utility monopoly it is, reprioritizes its obligation to serving the people of Maine with reliability, honesty and stewardship of our resources.

John Cote

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