CMP has been a good neighbor in Pownal

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I am a retired selectman in Pownal. When I was on the board, I oversaw the tax assessing and, among many other duties, worked with the Planning Board on Central Maine Power projects, and I’d like to express support for New England Clean Energy Connect.

I always found CMP to be very accommodating. They listened to our requests and tried to mitigate any issues that we brought to their attention. They were sensitive to sound and environmental issues that concerned us and strove to have as little impact as possible.

The economic benefit they currently bring is substantial. Pownal has a total value of just over $240 million. CMP’s value in the town is assessed at just under $70 million. CMP now pays almost 25 percent of our tax commitment. If NECEC goes forward, it would provide additional, much-needed revenue to the town. If this money is used responsibly, Pownal will have an opportunity to make long-lasting improvements to the town that will provide an economic boost to the community.

In Pownal, NECEC will be constructed on property that CMP currently owns and utilizes for transmission lines and related electric infrastructure. It is true that some properties that border the CMP property near the junction of Allen Road and Fickett Road will be impacted. There is no denying this, but CMP will have to work through the Pownal Planning Board for approval, where abutter concerns will be heard.

A recent television ad claimed that Pownal has voted against NECEC. This is not true, as Pownal is governed by its annual town meeting. There has been no town meeting vote on this project. After viewing this false accusation, it makes me wonder just how many other untruths the group opposing this project has publicized.

The generation and use of clean and renewable energy should be a priority for all of us who care about the future.

Tim Giddinge
Pownal

Climate change response requires sacrifice

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I read with great interest your May 5 story about the Central Maine Power/Hydro-Quebec project and its impact on the North Woods.

I am not an advocate for CMP; I am an advocate for my daughters, for their children and for their children’s children. We are at a critical point where climatically we need to make a change. Doing the same old same old is not acceptable.

The conundrum, for me, is: Do we address climate change or not?

With Hydro-Quebec and the No Corridors opponents, the debate seems to be: Do we support addressing climate change impacts with our energy generation, or do we protect the North Woods and maintain the same energy generation models – nuclear, coal, oil and natural gas – that impact the forest health?

My spiritual place is the woods of Maine. For years, I led trips for cancer patients to places that would offer the beauty, serenity and community that can happen in those less traveled places.

My love for those places, by itself, is not doing anything to address the forces of climate change, which, long term, is a much more pressing concern. The No Corridor opponents are not providing an answer for what alternative sources of energy generation that they will support, that reduce climate change and that are acceptable.

Many of us want safe, renewable energy and to have the “lights on” on demand, but no one wants to have that generation in their backyard. Somewhere else, preferably far away, not contributing to climate change.

We are at a place where we need to make a hard, but very important decision: Work hard to fight the march of climate change or not. This electrical power may be going to Massachusetts, but the reality is that we can have “cleaner” electrical generation that benefits Maine and addresses climate change.

David Hyde
Pownal

NECEC will benefit Maine’s energy supply, environment

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As an avid fly-fisher and many-generation Mainer, I have a profound appreciation for our beautiful state and its natural environment. Serious threats to Maine’s natural environment are toxic waste and climate change due to carbon emissions.

Many don’t realize that intermittent alternative energy sources like wind and solar involve environmental hazards. Petrochemicals are used to produce wind turbine blades and solar panels. Solar panels contain toxic materials such as lead, carcinogenic cadmium and hexavalent chromium. Because solar panels need replacing every 10 to 20 years, environmental scientists are saying that solar panel waste could be the next environmental toxic waste disaster facing the United States.

The New England Clean Energy Connect corridor will bring clean, renewable and reliable hydropower from Quebec to Lewiston, significantly increasing Maine’s and New England’s power grid baseload, while reducing the use of harmful, carbon-emitting fossil fuels and toxic materials.

We have over 17 million acres of forests in Maine; more than 95 percent are privately owned working forests and approximately 500,000 acres of forest are harvested and managed annually. Most of the proposed single-pole direct-current line to Lewiston will be placed in existing corridors. From Beattie Township to Harris Station on Indian Pond, 964 acres of privately owned working forest will be cleared 150 feet wide for the direct-current line. Herbicide-free buffers will be created near water bodies.

For perspective, consider that there are hundreds of miles of logging roads all over western Maine, not to mention thousands of mountain forest acres permanently cleared for ski slopes – over 1,200 acres at Sugarloaf alone.

Clean, reliable and renewable energy is critical for both Maine’s energy supply and environment. New England Clean Energy Connect will bring much-needed clean and reliable power to Maine while providing effective environmental stewardship.

Jessica Sullivan
Cape Elizabeth

NECEC a cleaner, greener option

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The New England Clean Energy Connect is a project Maine badly needs. It will bring thousands of construction jobs with it and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. But what’s even more impressive are the benefits that come with it to Maine’s environment.

The NECEC corridor from Quebec to Lewiston includes roughly 50 miles of working forests that have already been harvested for lumber for more than a century and more than 90 miles of already existing Central Maine Power transmission corridor.

The path does not run through any pristine forest and concern over the Kennebec Gorge has been greatly reduced now that CMP has decided to run the line under the river as opposed to over it. That’s important to me being a fisherman, a hunter and somebody who enjoys all the outdoor opportunities our beautiful state has to offer.

Cleaner, greener energy options are a necessity with the threat of climate change becoming more real by the day. With such careful mapping by CMP, NECEC will make it possible for Maine and every New England state to have efficient, reliable and affordable energy for decades to come.

Carl Wallace

South Gardiner

CMP project will bring major benefits

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The New England Clean Energy Connect is a project Maine badly needs. It will bring thousands of construction jobs with it and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. But what’s even more impressive are the benefits that come with it to Maine’s environment.

The NECEC corridor from Quebec to Lewiston includes roughly 50 miles of working forests that have already been harvested for lumber for more than a century and more than 90 miles of already existing transmission lines, which Central Maine Power owns. The path does not run through any pristine forest and concern over the Kennebec Gorge has been greatly reduced now that CMP has decided to run the line under the river as opposed to over it. That’s important to me being a fisherman, a hunter, and somebody who enjoys all the outdoor opportunities our beautiful state has to offer.

Cleaner, greener energy options are a necessity with the threat of climate change becoming more real by the day. With such careful mapping by CMP, NECEC will make it possible for Maine and every New England state to have efficient, reliable and affordable energy for decades to come.

NECEC is a major breakthrough in delivering clean electricity to all Maine and the rest of New England. Hydropower has fifty times less carbon in it than the fossil fuels we are currently using. We must continue to trend toward renewable energy. NECEC does just that. It’s good for our environment and it has my full support.

 

Carl Wallace
South Gardiner

I support NECEC in my backyard

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My family owns a camp in the West Forks. It would be within a thousand feet of the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line, which would bring hydropower from Quebec to Lewiston. You’d think being so close to the line I’d be against the project. You’d be wrong.

I have worked on projects much like NECEC for years across our state. I’ve also hunted and fished near other corridors where power lines have been put up. Quite simply, I just don’t think the power lines needed for the project will drastically affect the beauty and gorgeous views the western part of Maine has to offer.

Mainers must start thinking bigger picture and look further than their backyards when it comes to our environment. This project will harness clean, renewable hydropower and take big chunks of carbon out of our air and protect our state’s environment for the foreseeable future.

Here’s another benefit of NECEC that isn’t getting a lot of attention. I love to hunt. Many popular hunting spots are already located near existing transmission lines. NECEC will open more recreational opportunities for hunters, snowmobilers and four-wheelers, and create better access to remote parts of Maine that are almost impossible to get to now.

There has been a lot of debate about the New England Clean Energy Connect project over the past several months. In my opinion, the positives far outweigh the negatives, and I look forward to the benefits the NECEC will bring to Maine.

Todd Beaulieu

West Gardiner

Don’t listen to ads critical of CMP line

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A couple months ago, I was watching TV when a commercial came on highly critical of Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect project. Then I saw it again a couple hours later. A couple days later I tried to watch a video on YouTube and the ad popped up again. I thought to myself, “Dang, somebody is spending a lot of money to fight this project.”

But we may never know who that somebody is. Stop the Corridor continues to refuse to answer several simple questions. Who is providing the funding for their advertising? What are they hiding? Is the Natural Resource Council of Maine comfortable sharing the same bed with fossil fuel companies?

You can tell these ads are written by people from away. They constantly refer to the “pristine” forests being destroyed by NECEC. These forests have been harvested by generations of Maine loggers. With all due respect, they are far from pristine. Real Mainers know what a working forest looks like.

We need more renewable energy projects like NECEC. Without them, climate change will decimate the forests and stunning views of Maine these out-of-state ads claim to care so much about.

David and Lydia Longstaff

NECEC is good for Maine

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The New England Clean Air Connect will provide a major boost for our economy. The project will bring thousands of jobs, and millions in property tax relief with absolutely no cost to Maine. The fact that Massachusetts is paying for NECEC is great news for Maine.

Aside from the jobs and property taxes, Mainers getting clean air . . . decades of it! By delivering 1,200 megawatts of clean hydropower into the New England grid, the project will reduce carbon emissions by 3.6 million metric tons. Think about that. That’s roughly the equivalent of taking more than three quarters of a million cars off New England’s roads annually.

It’s also power that is badly needed. Many older generation facilities are retiring and will need to be replaced in the very near future. New England needs carbon-free energy generation like hydropower because the dangers of climate change are already being felt here in Maine.

Finally, I also appreciate how careful CMP was when it created the route for the NECEC. The corridor avoids scenic and environmental resources. Two-thirds of the route will go through a corridor that already exists. The other third goes through forests that have already been harvested for lumber. The environmental impact will be minimal. It even creates 50 extra miles of snowmobile trails in western Maine.

NECEC is a project which will spur Maine’s economy and provide clean air to Mainers for decades to come. I plan to support it and I think other Mainers should do the same.

Rene Dupont, Auburn

CMP line would bring clean power to New England

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The debate continues over CMP’s proposed transmission line through western Maine to bring Quebec hydropower to Massachusetts.

Opponents of the project usually represent themselves as environmentalists, but I can’t see how an environmentalist with his or her eyes open would oppose this project. New England is a single power market; when a power plant closes down anywhere in New England, it affects us all. This June, the Pilgrim nuclear plant in southern Massachusetts will be going off-line permanently. All the power it has been producing will almost certainly be replaced by natural gas-generated electricity. That will increase the region’s carbon footprint substantially, worsening global warming.

CMP’s project will introduce large supplies of clean, renewable power into the New England market – power that contributes far less to global warming than do feasible alternatives at that scale. Moreover, this power is currently being wasted in Quebec, because Hydro Quebec has built more hydroelectric infrastructure than they can currently use. For example, in 2018, they “spilled” over their dams enough water to power 1.4 million New England homes for a year.

Some argue that this will ruin the landscape it runs through. But the route avoids many of the most sensitive and beautiful areas of western Maine, including Moosehead Lake, Bigelow Preserve, Kennebago, and the Rangeley Lakes region. Plus, 72 percent of the length of the new line would use transmission corridors that already have electric lines running along them.

We have to find big ways to bend the curve of global carbon emissions to head off an environmental catastrophe for today’s young people and their progeny. We have to take bold steps. No project is perfect, but the New England Clean Energy Connect project is a big stride in the right direction.

Nathan Szanton
Portland

Change is always difficult

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Central Maine Power is connected to the New England Power Grid. Through the years, several nuclear power plants have been decommissioned, including Maine Yankee. Also, some oil-fired power plants are off-line and are used only when there is a high demand for electrical power.

There have been proposals to build wind towers, solar panel farms and a dam in eastern Maine. All such proposals are opposed by various groups. Does the opposition have any realistic ideas to generate electricity?

Maine’s economy needs to grow, and electrical power plays a major role in order to create jobs and grow the state’s economy.

The proposed CMP transmission line will create good paying jobs during its construction. CMP has agreed to install broadband on the power line structures. Broadband is a high-speed communications network that creates a system for the transmission of signals such as voice, data or video. That will help many small businesses and residents in rural areas and other parts of the state.

The transmission line would help improve reliability for the New England Power Grid, which will reinforce Maine’s economy and help create more jobs. The communities that the power grid goes through will collect property taxes.

Change is always difficult, but people need to be willing to make sound decisions because we all want our children and grandchildren to stay in Maine and have good-paying jobs.

Richard Grandmaison, Lewiston

NECEC project is a good deal for Maine

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I agree with columnist John Balentine’s conclusion that Central Maine Power Co.’s proposed power line will reduce energy costs and utilize a cleaner power source from Canada. However, I disagree with his assertion that this New England Clean Energy Connect project is some kind of “poison pill.” NECEC is the biggest contribution Maine can make to reducing greenhouse gases right now.

Balentine’s lament that a better choice would have been to keep old dams to generate this electricity has no merit. I’m afraid the only way to generate the additional electricity in the NECEC project in Maine would have included damming up the St. John and Allagash Rivers. Fortunately, steps were taken to preserve these resources.

Canada’s water resources are huge. They’ve built a series of power plants that generate clean, renewable energy with excess capacity. Tapping into this will allow New England to make a significant dent in removing carbon emissions from our air. Hydropower, a cleaner, reliable and less expensive source of generation, will result in lower electricity rates.

This project is a good deal. Every day of delay means tons of dirty greenhouse gases being pumped into our air by fossil fuel burning power plants. Let’s proceed with NECEC now.

Al Howlett
Yarmouth


Time is right for CMP project

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The New England Clean Energy Connect is most likely one of the most important projects to ever be proposed in Maine. While I understand the localized environmental concerns, the benefits this project brings with it are too important to pass up.

Hydropower is also more reliable than the fossil fuels we use. When extreme cold kicks in, prices don’t spike. That is certainly not the case with oil, gas or coal. Stable prices means our bills will be lower in the long run.

The NECEC also means a lot to those of us who would be working on the project. I’ve worked on other major projects like the NECEC and it’s a challenge. I take great pride in the work I do. I know we can build this transmission line safely, and the route of the project absolutely minimizes the impact to the local environment. There is no pristine forest in the path of this line. The new corridor being built is entirely on working forests that have been harvested for at least a century.

Most importantly, it will significantly lower our carbon footprint by removing millions of metric tons of carbon from our air each and every year. The true impact of that won’t be noticed right away, but it is our responsibility to make sure future generations will not suffer the very real effects of climate change. Time is ticking. We need to act now.

Nate Ayers

Augusta

Power line’s benefits to Maine far outweigh its costs

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There has been a lot of debate about New England Clean Energy Connect. The project would build a transmission line from Quebec to Lewiston to bring hydropower to New England.

Every project has good and bad aspects. To me, this project has a lot more positive than negative aspects for the state of Maine. These include:

• If we can help get clean energy south of us, we will get a lot less of their dirty air back over the top of us.

• These pole lines are our open spaces that we all can use free of any charge for snowmobiling, snowshoeing or just walking our dogs.

• Many businesses in Maine will get the work from building this project as well as from carrying out the maintenance of the corridor long term.

• For allowing this project to happen, Maine has to get a long-term income stream from Central Maine Power, as well as a right of way for future utilities.

Any environmentalist who is against this is a hypocrite. If we want to make electric vehicles work, we need to take advantage of all the low-cost power sources available.

Jon Shaw

Shaw Brothers

Gorham

Commentary: Reasons for supporting CMP plan overlooked amid baseless criticism

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Authors: Lloyd Irland of Wayne is a professional forester and former Maine state economist, and Richard Anderson of Portland is a former Maine conservation commissioner.

The author of an April 1 letter to the Press Herald asserts, “Money isn’t everything. Like Gov. Baxter said about Baxter State Park, ‘May it forever be left in the natural wild state.’ ” To the untrained eye, then, Baxter State Park appears a “wilderness,” even as it is managed every day for its diverse values, and for the enjoyment of the tens of thousands of persons who visit it each year

Indeed, the entire 10 million-acre Unorganized Territory of Maine is largely a privately owned working forest, managed every day for its timber, recreational, wildlife, ecological, scenic and other values; and has been such for well more than a century. To this end, it is now crisscrossed by thousands of miles of public and woods roads, as well as by many miles of power lines that serve and accommodate Maine residents and visitors alike.

The three of us – including former Conservation Commissioner Richard Barringer of Portland – are deeply sympathetic to those who value and enjoy the Maine woods and oppose the New England Clean Energy Connect project; we believe their hearts are in the right place. We share with them their love of the woods and their concern for its future, based on our more than a combined century of working and traveling Maine’s deep woods and enjoying them on foot and snowshoes and by snowmobile, skis and canoe.

We believe that NECEC will bring many important and lasting benefits to all present and future citizens of Maine. To refer to the Maine woods as a “wilderness” is to misrepresent its reality as an actively managed working forest. And we find this to be just one of the many unfounded claims and myths offered by opponents to the project.

The writers of other Press Herald letters (and op-eds) have asserted there will be no reduction in carbon emissions to the atmosphere as a result of NECEC, and that the Maine Department of Environmental Protection should now be ordered by the Legislature to do yet another analysis.

But the Maine Public Utilities Commission last year paid fully $475,000 for an independent analysis of NECEC’s impact. In this analysis, London Economics International LLC estimated that NECEC will remove fully 3 million to 3.6 million metric tons of carbon from the New England atmosphere each year, equal to removing some 767,000 vehicles from its roadways, and 57,000 from Maine’s alone. (See Page 30 of “Independent Analysis of Electricity Market and Microeconomic Benefits of New England Clean Energy Connect Project,” available at bit.ly/2VCuRnN.)

These same critics also claim there is no surplus water at present behind Hydro-Quebec dams to generate new electricity for New England homeowners and customers and that Hydro-Quebec will have to divert hydropower from New York and Ontario to New England, replacing this with fossil fuel power.

The fact is that in 2018, because of inadequate markets, Hydro Quebec “spilled” over its dams enough water to produce about 10.4 terawatts of electricity, according to a Dec. 14 Boston Globe editorial – more than the entire amount it now offers Massachusetts to help combat climate change. New England Clean Energy Connect will carry 1,200 megawatts of new power from this spill, from upgrades at an existing dam and from a single new dam.

We believe the well-organized and dark money-funded campaign against NECEC sows fear and misrepresentations that are unworthy of Maine’s civic dialogue. It distracts public attention from what we need do to help the region adjust to new economic realities and grow; from the largest financial investment in western Maine beyond anything in recent times; from the impact that a negative New England Clean Energy Connect decision will have on the business climate across the region and state, and from our shared responsibilities as citizens of planet Earth.

A time to act

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I have spent the past week listening to the DEP hearings on CMP's proposed transmission line (NECEC project). Sadly, many of the organizations that oppose the project and have "educated" us - the general public - on the "bad" things about the project will eventually support it - IF they get more compensation.

From their perspective it really isn't about a bad proposal, it's about getting more compensation.

Some opponents will never be for it but many are just looking for a bigger hand out.
In the meantime, they have "educated" us about how bad this proposal is but down deep they really don't believe it. They just want more.

Hearing the testimony, which included many facts, many half truths and many statements that were just plain false - it is very difficult to sort out what the real truth is.
From my perspective the following points are indisputably true:

1) The 670 megawatt Pilgrim Nuclear plant will cease operation permanently on June 1st, 2019 after operating for over 50 years.

2) Initially, fossil fuel will take its place as ISO-NE (Independent System Operator of New England) dispatchable baseload source.

3) Many older coal, oil, & nuclear generating facilities will be permanently retired in the future.

4) The carbon emission from fossil fuel generation contributes to greenhouse gases.

5) Green house gases are one of the major causes of climate change.

6) Established hydro generation facilities have practically no carbon emissions.

7) Electrical usage will increase in the future as more homes are built, as more electric cars and heat pump technology is promoted.

8) Wind and solar are not truly dispatchable power sources - meaning always available.

9) ISO-NE needs a certain level of base load dispatchable generation always available.

10) All power sources that bid into ISO-NE power pool are chosen based on price and availability.

11) Existing hydros are often one of the least expensive sources of dispatchable electricity.

12) The cost of the proposed CMP line will be borne entirely by Mass. ratepayers not by CMP customers.

13) There is 110 MW of excess capacity in the proposed line and is available to Maine ratepayers when it is needed.

14) The proposed line is sited entirely on private land or in CMP's existing r/w.

15) There will be an electric rate reduction for all CMP customers if power is provided by the proposed line. The amount of rate reduction will depend on the price of natural gas.

16) The projected life of the proposed line is 40 years plus.

17) There are parts of the proposal that will benefit all Maine ratepayers.

18) The proposed settlement already agreed to by CMP and many of the intervenors that directly affects us in Franklin county is as follows:
A) $15M broadband infrastructure for the host communities over 5 years
B) $4M for vocational programs in Franklin & Somerset counties over 5 years
C)$5M to support economic development for Franklin county residence over 5 years
D) $1M for internship & scholarships to UMF over 5 years
E) Approx 3500 jobs at peak during construction
F) Estimated $18M (year 1) property tax to host communities
G) Estimated $400,000 (year 1) property tax to the Town of Farmington

19) If this line isn't built all of the above benefits go away.
We must sort out what the true facts are. This is very difficult given all the half-truths and misinformation that has been distributed.

Central Maine Power has had problems in the past, some with the billing system, some with how they explained these problems, some with smart meters, some with outages and other missteps. Basically, this is a trust issue, however, the proposed settlement is not just CMP's guarantee but is backed by the following parties:

Office of the Public Advocate
Conservation Law Foundation
Industrial Energy Consumers Group
various Labor Groups
Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Governor's Energy Group

and it certainly appears that the proposed settlement will be backed by other opposition groups if their concerns for environmental mitigation are considered and adequately compensated.

This leaves many of us out here on a limb. What are we supposed to believe? Some of us are opposed to it because of the info being fed to us by opposition groups who are ready to flip if they get more compensation. Some of us will always be opposed to it and some of us are trying to sort out truth from fiction.

We as Maine people need to step back, take a deep breath and think about the future.
Yes, there will be clearings, there will be towers, but we have clearings and towers in the existing r/w which is all of the line that most of us will ever see in our lifetime.
Most of us don't stop to think about the source of our electricity. We just want it to be there when we flip the switch.

Where will our clean power come from in the future?

ISO-NE is tasked with determining where it comes from and most of that is determined by price and availability - not based on how clean the source is.

If we decide that this dispatchable clean hydro power proposal is rejected, then ISO-NE has no choice but to purchase the next available dispatchable source. It most certainly will be a fossil fuel source.

Please put aside all of the propaganda and half-truths that have been put forth by organizations that are ready to approve this proposal once they have received "adequate" compensation and look to the future.

This proposal really is a good deal for us Mainers not only for today, but for our future as well.

Maybe this proposal could be better, but maybe it is going to slip thru our fingers and be gone forever.

It's almost like when I buy one of a kind of "something". After I have purchased it, I think maybe if I had held out longer I could have gotten a better deal. Sometimes I have held out too long and someone else got the good deal.

We need to get behind this proposed NECEC project.

We cannot afford to hold out for a better deal--our grandchildren are the ones depending on us. Please support the NECEC project.

Delbert Reed
Freeman Township

CMP line a key part of Maine’s future

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The New England Clean Energy Connect is a transmission line that will bring clean hydropower into Maine from Quebec. The power will then feed the entire New England grid, meaning Maine and our neighbors will be breathing cleaner air for decades to come.

Aside from the obvious environmental benefits of the NECEC, the project gives Maine’s business climate a badly needed economic jolt. The project creates 1,700 jobs annually and more than 3,000 during peak construction. NECEC will pump $1 billion into Maine’s economy over the next decade.

There aren’t many projects that come to Maine with a financial impact of that magnitude. It will provide tens of millions of dollars of tax benefits to towns near the transmission line, and thanks to the recent settlement negotiated by Gov. Janet Mills, another $10 million for economic development and promoting regional tourism to host communities.

Promoting these communities will bring more people to western Maine, a part of our state often overlooked by tourists. More tourism translates into more money being spent in these towns and will provide a huge financial boost to mom-and-pop stores up and down the route of the corridor.

Finally, the path of the corridor will likely create more trails for snowmobilers and four-wheeler clubs. It will also provide access to some parts of Western Maine which are very remote and open an entirely new part of our state.

NECEC is a key part of Maine’s future. It’s an opportunity we can’t afford to waste.

Tom Nason

Winthrop

Lots of good reasons to support CMP plan

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I’m a native Mainer now living in Brunswick. I’ve been listening to the arguments both for and against Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy project, which will bring hydropower from Quebec to Maine and New England. I have one question for opponents of NECEC: How can you say this project doesn’t have any benefits for Maine?

Let’s start with the jobs. NECEC will bring thousands of jobs to our state for the next few years. Those against it argue the jobs are temporary. Guess what? All construction jobs are temporary. But there are very few that will provide steady work like NECEC for the next several years and that also pay this well.

Let’s talk about the additional tax revenue and benefits NECEC will have in Maine. Many towns along the corridor will together gain millions of dollars in property tax relief. That’s badly needed money in some of these communities that they can then decide how to use.

But don’t forget the recreational benefits. NECEC will create more than 50 new miles of trails that we can all enjoy. It will also increase access to those trails and other trails that already exist.

There are also many environmental reasons to support NECEC. It will take major amounts of carbon out of the air we breathe every year. Mainers stand to gain so much from the project. That’s why I’m supporting it and I hope others will do the same.

Brett Doyon

Brunswick

CMP project a big win

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Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect project is a big win for Mainers. Think about it — the project will create 3,500 jobs at peak construction and provide clean air by using renewable hydropower.

The jobs this project will create are vital to our economy. Construction workers are constantly having to go out of state to find jobs. Good-paying jobs that will put food on the table for years are not easy to find. NECEC ensures steady work for construction workers for the next four or five years.

Keeping the work in Maine can only benefit the nearby towns where the work is being done. Mainers would prefer to spend their hard-earned money at hotels, stores, shops and gas stations in Maine. The more money that stays in our state, the better our economy.

What about high school seniors looking to get into construction? We talk about training these seniors in Maine colleges and then having them stay in Maine, but they need projects to work on.

NECEC also will make a dent on our electric bills to the tune of millions of dollars a year for decades to come. Whether it’s a major reduction or not, anything that brings my electric bill down works for me, especially since Mainers aren’t paying a penny for it.

We need to support this project. It’s an investment in our future which will put us in a better position both economically and environmentally for decades to come.

Melissa Hall

Gardiner

Support for NECEC

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I am a born Mainer. I grew up in Lewiston and still work there to this very day. I love to hike and fish and care very much about my home state and its environment. That is why I am supporting the New England Clean Energy Connect.

I would argue this project is the most important endeavor to come through Maine in the past century. I have a 10-year-old son. I think it is critical that, when he grows up, he is breathing air which will, hopefully, have somewhat less carbon dioxide.

To achieve that goal, big projects like NECEC are necessary. People can argue the short-term effects the transmission line will have on the environment and the views. But in the long run, there is no arguing the effects climate change will have on Maine’s wildlife and tourism industry.

The project is projected to take 3.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air annually. That is the equivalent of taking more than 767,000 vehicles off roads in New England every year. How can we pass up an opportunity like that?

Mainers must get away from the use of fossil fuels and, instead, invest time, effort and money in renewable energy. This project is an important first step in the right direction.

I will support NECEC and other projects like it because the future depends on it. I urge all Mainers to do the same.

Peter Marcotte, Lewiston

Crazy to oppose NECEC

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Our Canadian neighbors to the north want to sell surplus hydropower through Maine to Massachusetts.

Credit former Gov. Paul LePage for doing the groundwork and Gov. Janet Mills for supporting the transmission line through Maine.

Imagine: a winter heat source, rechargeable car stations, ridding the atmosphere of climate changing emissions and creating new business opportunities. Man, you must be crazy to want things to stay the way they are.

Russell Vesecky