Bill Nemitz’s Sept. 16 column (opposing New England Clean Energy Connect) demonstrates that reporters get it wrong when they fail to fully examine complex issues. Nemitz criticizes Central Maine Power’s current ad campaign focused on the upcoming initiative’s retroactivity provisions and faults them for not sticking to ads touting the benefits of the project.

In fact, CMP has run and continues to run ads citing project benefits. Additionally, as the election nears, CMP feels focusing on the initiative’s troublesome retroactive provision helps their cause – we’ll see. Nemitz’s commentary clearly misunderstands retroactivity provisions and ignores project benefits.

Retroactive provisions that confer a benefit are legally different from retroactive provisions that curtail the vested rights of an individual or a corporation. The former are often sustained; the latter are “ex post facto laws,” barred by the Constitution.

Project benefits: Capital costs ($1 billion) are borne by Massachusetts, not Maine taxpayers;

Maine gets the lion’s share of construction jobs, huge property tax benefits, an improved grid system and a portion of the energy being transmitted.

Nemitz also ignores the fact that CMP has all needed state-federal project approvals; that CMP underwent 20 months of Public Utilities CommissionDepartment of Environmental Protection hearings and technical staff scrutiny of thousands of pages of data and testimony; that Maine’s highest court sustained the PUC approval. Are all of these people fools or CMP stooges?

Finally, Nemitz ignores global warming; the fact that fossil fuels are killing us; that Canadian hydropower will improve air quality in all New England states.  In short, Mainers need more balanced reporting than Bill Nemitz provided.


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