Viewpoint: Mainers have spoken (about the corridor) 

By Alexandra Lincoln  

On Nov. 2, the people of Maine voted, by an overwhelming majority of 59 to 41, to stop the New England Clean Energy Corridor (NECEC). And yet, CMP continues, aided by the inaction of Governor Mills and the Maine DEP, to clearcut our forest, in blatant disregard of the will of the people. Which begs the question: Are we in a Democracy or a Corporatocracy here?  

Do CMP and Gov. Mills think that the people of Maine aren’t smart enough to know the difference between a truly “clean” or “green” energy project and a multi-million-dollar corporate greenwashing campaign? The NECEC is not actually clean. It’s not actually green. We know what green is. TREES are green. Trees naturally, and freely, draw down carbon from the atmosphere and cool the planet. How on Earth does it make sense to cut them down in the name of “clean” or “green” energy? It doesn’t, and the people of Maine know this and voted overwhelmingly to shut the NECEC down. 

Mainers are smart and sensible people, despite what CMP and Gov. Mills think. We know that clearcutting Maine forest in order to bring “clean” hydropower all the way from Canada to Massachusetts is not clean. What is “clean” about chopping down the actual lungs of our planet, destroying soil and habitat and permanently scarring and altering our forest ecosystems, to deliver hydropower some 400 miles away? Hydropower is not even that clean, and may produce more carbon, and even more climate-damaging methane, than it offsets. Not to mention damming rivers, blocking fish from spawning, damaging coastal estuaries and causing erosion. 

So what is actually “clean” about the NECEC? Nothing. And nothing is “green” about the NECEC except the enormous payday it represents for irresponsible, above-the-law corporations and their political lackeys. 

Our forest, our wildlife, our water and our way of life must not be sacrificed to line shareholders pockets, or for Massachusetts’ energy needs. If Massachusetts wants to reduce its emissions, wonderful! Do it without clearcutting Maine forest. Try consuming LESS energy instead of importing it all the way from Canada via our decimated forest. 

The people of Maine have spoken, and we demand our voices be heard and our votes honored. We resoundingly rejected the NECEC and demand it be terminated, and the clearcutting stopped immediately. We call on Gov. Mills to do her job and serve the will of the people who elected her. We call on the Maine DEP to do its job and protect Maine’s environment by pulling the permit for the NECEC immediately. 

Alexandra Lincoln lives in Bass Harbor.

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