I’m disheartened at recent news reports concerning an epidemic of Maine service workers being subjected to verbal abuse by rude customers. The saddest part is that for many Mainers, service industry work is all that is available.

Gone are the days when a young Mainer did not even have to finish high school to land an entry-level job in one of the many industries that once thrived throughout Maine. The biggest reason for losing such industries is the high cost of energy.

That high cost is partly the result of well-off Mainers and out-of-staters flexing their political muscle to cancel numerous major energy infrastructure projects. Canceled energy projects include the Eastport oil refinery, Dickey-Lincoln Hydro dam, the Searsport Liquefied Propane Gas Terminal and the Downeast LNG terminal, and now they are setting their sights on New England Clean Energy Connect. These “rusticators” (Google it) have a long history of thwarting economic development to keep Maine as their own rustic playground.

These neo-rusticators are now using the lame war cry of “It will ruin our scenery!” to justify their selfish ambitions. Just look at many of our windmill-topped mountains and solar panel-covered fields if you want to see ruined scenery.

I will vote “no” and support the clean energy corridor. I cannot stand the thought that the only future job options for my children will be having to put up with being verbally berated by rude people because their caffe latte was not served to their liking.

Ted Sirois

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