To the Editor: A toxic handshake 



To the Editor:

Opponents to the Clean Energy Corridor try to discredit the powerline’s benefits, but their arguments have been assessed by impartial experts during the Clean Energy Corridor’s extensive review process in Maine and at the federal level. All regulatory agencies have granted the project a green light. There should be no doubt that this powerline serves the interests of the people of Maine. By replacing fossil-fuel generation, the Clean Energy Corridor will keep downward pressure on electricity costs and reduce dirty emissions. Additionally, Maine is guaranteed power over the line, at a discounted price – enough to power 70,000 homes. 

“We’ve agreed that we’ll partner on this issue,” No CMP Corridor’s Sandra Howard said, “but we may not partner with them on the next one.” This is No CMP Corridor’s veneer over the political action committee’s ties with some of the companies responsible for polluting Maine’s air. Texas-based Calpine, the highest emitter of greenhouse gases among Maine’s electricity generators, and NextEra, which runs oil-fired Wyman Station on Cousin’s Island, are part of a group that is funding 95 percent of No CMP Corridor’s opposition efforts, including the hiring of petition signature gatherers for the November ballot initiative against the Clean Energy Corridor. Paying citizen or environmental groups to lead fights against clean energy projects is part of the oil and gas playbook. By its own admission, forming coalitions with local citizen groups is “core to [the American Petroleum Institute’s] social-license strategy”. For more on that, read here (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/02/oil-industry-fighting-climate-policy-states/606640/). Essentially, fossil generators will convince these groups to team up with them against one specific project. With that toxic handshake comes all kinds of funding and assistance. 

That is exactly what is happening in Maine. 

No CMP Corridor would very much like for Hydro-Québec to be barred from laying down the facts in Maine. She claims that HQ is interfering in the current discussion about the project in Maine. However, any notion of fairness demands that Hydro-Québec be allowed to defend itself against the efforts of Texas oil and gas companies to use Maine’s referendum process as a tool to protect their own profits. 

 

Cody Porter 

Hermon 

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