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Question 1, involving the Central Maine Power (CMP) corridor, should be a simple decision for anyone who believes in catastrophic global warming and cleaner air for Maine. Most of our air pollution is generated in states west of us. We have an opportunity to vote to bring 1,200 megawatts of clean power onto the New England grid. It is a chance to vote for a significant project that is expected to reduce U.S. annual CO2 production by 3.6 million tons annually and result in cleaner air and power for Maine.
One argument against the corridor is that it is not “new” green energy. Some want to see hundreds of new wind turbines and hundreds of acres of new solar panels. That solution also comes with an environmental impact. One inconvenient truth is that wind turbines and solar panels have about a 25-year life. The International Renewable Energy Agency projects that as much as 78 million metric tons of solar panels will reach their end of life in 2050 and will be in the waste stream. Decommissioning costs for a wind turbine can be estimated in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and blades and housings will have to be cut up and buried.
Fifty years from now, that corridor will be quietly distributing clean energy, two generations of solar panels and wind turbines will be recycled/buried, and we will be building our third generation of solar and wind turbines. The smart and green choice is to vote no on Question 1 and build the corridor.
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