The referendum to stop the Clean Energy Corridor is dangerous because it does much more than advertised. 

Before November, Maine voters would do well to study the question.

We aren’t being asked “Do you want to stop the corridor?” We’re being asked four very broad questions, one of which is implied:

• Do you approve of permanent development prohibitions in one part of Maine, absent any consideration or prioritization involving the rest of the state?

• Do you want to give a small minority of legislators (as few as 12 senators) the power to stop certain clean-energy projects anywhere in Maine?

• Do you trust partisan politicians to responsibly use the power to retroactively nullify building permits that were lawfully issued?

• Do you think complex regulatory decisions are better made through political campaigns than through methodical and transparent administrative proceedings?

I spent my career devoted to the responsible stewardship of Maine’s natural heritage, first with the Maine Forest Service and ultimately as a senior leader with The Nature Conservancy.

 What is clear to me – and probably most of you – is that Maine’s climate is changing, fast.

It is difficult to accept but no less true that some of the damaging changes to our most vulnerable ecosystems are already irreversible during our lifetimes, no matter how rapid our response. 

Despite the speed of the change around us, even those who accept climate science are falling victim to the kind of policy paralysis offered by this dangerous referendum. It commits us deeper into doing nothing.

Tom Rumpf


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