In a last-ditch effort to keep New England Clean Energy Connect on life support, Central Maine Power pushes forward, cutting trees and planting poles, hoping to make the case for “vested interest.”

CMP was put on notice a long time ago about the perils of traveling down this road of death by a thousand cuts. Sadly, they were tone deaf to the opposition and concerns expressed in the public testimonies for the Public Utilities Commission, Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers.

Perhaps more disappointing was how quickly our regulatory agencies caved in to corporate interests and the Mills administration without addressing the concerns brought forth by Mainers. This is what fueled the grassroots efforts to bring it to the ballot.

Sadly, CMP continues to show their disregard to Mainers by pushing forth this destruction through western Maine. It’s not surprising, really. This project has less to do with curbing greenhouse gases and stabilizing the New England grid than it does maximizing profits supplying power to Massachusetts. I can’t imagine Iberdrola has much need for a backwoods utility like CMP without the corridor. Pushing this project to its bitter end is not a big gamble, given the potential returns.

Should the corridor fail, and with CMP’s social contract to serve Mainers all but destroyed, a public takeover will likely be a convenient way for Iberdrola to unload this underperforming asset and move on to bigger things, leaving Mainers to clean up the mess and live with the scars of this chapter.

John Cote

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