Heavy machinery is used to cut trees to widen an existing Central Maine Power power line corridor to make way for new utility poles, Monday, April 26, 2021, near Bingham. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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I am one of hundreds of volunteers who have been trying to educate Mainers about why the Central Maine Power corridor is a bad deal for Maine. It’s important for voters to understand why a vote of yes on 1 will ban the CMP corridor.

It is clear to me that CMP’s front groups are trying to confuse Maine voters and separate the corridor from Question 1. So, here’s the truth about Question 1 – and I’m not a paid spokesperson.

In 2020, this citizen’s initiative was filed to the Maine Secretary of State. It put CMP on notice that Mainers would petition to allow the people of Maine to vote on the largest infrastructure project in Maine since the Maine Turnpike. At that time, they did not have all of their permits and they hadn’t started construction. By starting to clear the corridor route, CMP is taking a huge financial risk because a yes vote on 1 would only halt the corridor project in the upper Kennebec region – not roads, bridges, or your back deck.

In 2014, when CMP was granted their lease to cross public lands, the Bureau of Parks and Lands did not seek out two-thirds approval from the Legislature (it’s clear to me that this is required by a constitutional amendment passed back in 1993). Question 1 will clarify and remind everyone that, in my opinion, Maine’s Constitution already requires legislative approval for projects like the CMP corridor that would substantially alter our public lands. Recently, a Maine superior court judge ruled CMP’s lease for their for-profit corridor to be invalid.

Question 1 is about protecting western Maine, its public lands, its natural resources and making sure that high-impact transmission lines greater than 50 miles will undergo a fair and transparent process. 

Join me in voting yes on Question 1.

Carol Howard

New Gloucester

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