There is no question Maine must move aggressively to reduce carbon pollution by embracing new clean energy sources that will create new jobs, strengthen Maine’s economy and protect our environment. But the Central Maine Power corridor is not the way to address the climate crisis, and the impacts of the project on Maine’s rare contiguous forests cannot be justified by its questionable benefits. It is a bad deal for Maine and should be defeated by a “Yes” vote on Question 1.

Over the past two decades, the Natural Resources Council of Maine has played a lead role in essentially every major policy initiative in Maine to promote clean energy and tackle climate change, often fighting directly against CMP as it sought to defeat such measures.

We pushed for the creation of Maine’s first climate action plan in 2004 and advocated strongly for the 2020 Climate Action Plan. We helped lead a coalition that passed bipartisan laws to boost solar and other renewable energy sources. And we helped draft the bill that created the Efficiency Maine Trust, because CMP was failing to manage Maine’s energy efficiency programs prior to electricity deregulation.

We also defended net energy billing from attacks to make sure that local businesses and homeowners are treated fairly and compensated correctly when they choose to install solar. Most recently, we pushed for an investigation into CMP’s obstruction and delays in bringing scores of community solar projects online.

When the CMP corridor was first proposed, we looked at it with an open mind. But the more we studied it, the more it became clear that the corridor was a bad project, sited in the wrong location, providing no verifiable new benefits in the fight against climate change.

When it comes to climate action, it is essential that proposed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions be new and additional, and not a shell game. And that’s the problem with the CMP corridor.

The analysis conducted by London Economics for the Public Utilities Commission clearly stated that they did not analyze emissions changes in other jurisdictions. That’s a fatal flaw in their analysis. When the Legislature proposed an independent climate study of the project, CMP defeated the bill.

Tux Turkel’s excellent Q&A piece about Question 1 highlighted the tremendous uncertainty about whether the CMP corridor would provide climate benefits.

If there are no proven new benefits to the climate, then the permanent damage inflicted on the western mountains region is just not worth it. That is why the project is opposed by so many of Maine’s environmental groups, including Sierra Club Maine, Appalachian Mountain Club, 350 Maine, Environment Maine, Trout Unlimited, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. It is why NRCM is urging Mainers to vote “Yes” on Question 1.

Maine people are smart enough to know when they are being sold a bill of goods, and that’s what the CMP corridor amounts to.

There is a different path that is better for the climate, better for Maine’s future, and better for our environment. If Maine voters enact Question 1, then Massachusetts should pull the plug on the CMP corridor and turn to one of the 44 other proposals it received for meeting its climate goals. Many of these other proposals included renewable energy projects that would create more jobs and result in verifiable climate benefits.

Here in Maine, we can focus on building a clean energy future to serve Maine people and communities. We can continue to develop local renewable sources including wind power and solar energy. Combined with accelerated measures to construct more energy efficient homes and businesses, and expansion of battery storage, we can build a more flexible, reliable electricity grid for the future that powers clean transportation and electrifies our homes. That’s the path that NRCM and Maine’s broad environmental community will continue to help shape if, and we hope, when Mainers vote Yes on Question 1 to defeat the CMP corridor.


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