Mainers should not be fooled by the distortions coming from the opponents of Question 1. In my opinion, this referendum is about protecting the western Maine mountains.  

The first part of the referendum bans high-impact transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region. The second part ensures that future projects like this one receive legislative approval to give the people of Maine closer access to the process. Everything else deals with Maine’s public lands. These lands are personally important to me as my father, Robert “Bob” Cummings, long time environmental reporter for the Portland Press Herald, was instrumental in the passage of the constitutional amendment that I believe Central Maine Power has violated.

There have been a lot of commercials on TV, radio and even paid ads trying to resemble legitimate news sources. There are also ads saying that retroactive laws are bad, but to me, the simple truth is that the leases granted by the Bureau of Public Lands were illegal and unconstitutional.

But to get back to Question 1, the remaining parts of this referendum make clear that high-impact transmission lines and other infrastructure projects are deemed to substantially alter public lands and as such are subject to the constitutionally imposed two-thirds vote of both legislative chambers. To reiterate, I’m confident that this referendum clarifies laws already on the books to bring them into harmony with the constitution. I urge Mainers to ban/reject this corridor and protect Maine’s public lands by voting Yes on Question 1 in November.

Charlene Cummings


Election notice: The BDN will stop accepting letters and columns related to the Nov. 2 election on Monday, Oct. 25. Not all submissions can be published.