I believe we need to complete the short 53-mile stretch of power lines needed to connect clean renewable energy from Canada to all of us in New England.

For me, it’s this simple: By voting “NO” on Question 1, I’ll be doing my part to help solve the challenge of global warming. By voting No, I’ll support a project that cleans the air and cools the planet by using clean hydroelectric power. That’s really what this project and our future is all about.

Who’s trying to stop this project? Surprise! It’s the polluters – the gas-fired electric utilities who are funding the opposition campaign to defeat clean energy. The polluters want this project to fail because they’ll lose billions of dollars if it doesn’t. So if you vote Yes, you’ll be supporting the polluters.

The fact is, the polluters don’t give a hydro-dam about Maine’s environment. If they did, they’d support this project instead of spending millions to defeat it.

What’s at stake besides polluters’ profits? Being a kid who grew up in Maine, I know the climate has definitely changed; tides are higher, forest fire smoke blows into Maine from the parched West, and fish and lobster are scarcer in the Gulf of Maine, all because temperatures are rising in the air, rivers, lakes and the sea. In short, manmade pollution from fossil fuels is causing global warming. The polluters are melting the polar ice caps and fouling our air. They hate clean energy.

Obviously, we don’t have the luxury of half-measures or delays. With a short set of power lines, we can flip a switch and change from their polluting fossil fuels to renewable hydroelectric energy.

Now, pause for a second if you’re still wondering how to vote. Ask your kids if they favor pollution over cleaner air.

And here’s something else to think about. Our thirst for electricity is not going away. It’s just going to grow. That’s why we need reliable clean electricity to run our computers, heat pumps, appliances, electric cars and trucks (yup, Ford 150s, the most-sold vehicle in history, are going electric).

Besides being a Maine kid, I also am a Maine business executive who is passionate about growing the economy, improving health and creating good jobs. Through that lens, I see the following benefits from the Hydro-Quebec project, which relies on clearing this relatively short 53-mile pathway:

• We’ll be getting base-load electricity from a renewable resource (water power). That’s good for tourism, for heavy power users and for the health of our families.

• The electricity will be used in all New England states via the regional power pool that Maine customers also tap for their energy, and it’s paid for by Massachusetts ratepayers, not Maine ratepayers.

• Millions of dollars will be spent on good jobs throughout the construction process and each worker is going to be spending a lot of that money locally.

• There are the local economic improvements: more revenue for local town governments in the region; electric vehicle infrastructure in Maine; fiber optic cable and broadband expansion in Somerset and Franklin counties; and money for economic development as well as funding of regional tourism in Western Maine.

• One last fact: the 53-mile power line connection is only 54 feet wide – a path the width of the logging roads that already go through these regularly harvested lands; a total of 964 acres out of Maine’s 17.6 million acres of forest. And, as with most similar projects, the land will always have low-growth wildlife habitat beneath the power lines. Wildlife LOVES low-growth habitat.

Just like getting vaccinated against COVID-19, doing our small part by supporting this project will make for a better Maine and safer world. After all, if not us, then who? If not now, when? Let’s do our part before it’s too late by voting NO on Question 1.

Now, what do you think and what are you going to do about it?


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