In this May 28, 2019, file photo, a homemade sign is posted on a telephone pole in protest of Central Maine Power's controversial hydropower transmission corridor in Jackman. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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Central Maine Power and its allies claim that its transmission corridor will deliver green energy from Hydro-Quebec to Massachusetts. I want to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they haven’t earned it.

The utility has a history of lobbying against numerous green energy bills in Augusta, including LD 640 — a bill designed to study the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from its proposed transmission corridor. CMP should have welcomed this legislative study! CMP also opposed LD 1444, apparently because it feared losing its competitive advantage over customers who generate their own green energy from solar panels. How are voters and Maine Department of Environmental Protection staff able to square CMP’s track record of opposition to green energy bills while simultaneously promoting itself as our green energy savior?

Lost in the debate are three things: One, Hydro-Quebec’s 27 largest reservoirs have flooded thousands of acres of greenhouse gas-absorbing boreal forests. Two, decomposing roots, limbs, and trees at the bottom of Hydro-Quebec’s reservoirs are  releasing methane — a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere. Three, scientists are discovering that  methylmercury — a dangerous neurotoxin — has increased since Hydro-Quebec impounded rivers, impacting the Innu Nation’s fisheries.

For these reasons, I don’t buy what CMP is saying now about its so-called green energy and I can’t support their plans to construct 53 miles of new transmission corridor through the Maine woods, destroying a significant deer yard in the Upper Kennebec River Valley. I’m voting yes on Question 1.

Ronald Joseph


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