Letter to Editor: Empty promises

To the Editor:

Governor Mills believes that the proposed power corridor will save Mainers millions of dollars each year in electricity costs and that the perks for Maine that CMP and Hydro Quebec have offered will be more than “$30 million in broadband, in education and scholarships, and other community benefits, and another $30 million in electric vehicle infrastructure and heat pumps, and this project will boost, not diminish, the Maine economy.”

She also stated that “the project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions in New England by 3.6 million metric tons per year — that is the equivalent of removing 767,000 passenger vehicles from our roads.”

My thoughts:

Do you really think they will deliver on all of those promises to our governor with all of those perks for us if we allow this swath to be cut through our precious woods? Not likely, due to CMP’s track record thus far. Remember the horrendously high bills after the smart meters were installed, the no billing to others, and the lack of timely restoration of power after a storm? Remember, too, that New Hampshire and Vermont have already rejected this proposal.

Let’s also consider the damage to our ecosystem from the spraying of herbicides to keep the re-growth from infringing on the transmission lines. Every time those toxins are applied it will seep into the ground and be taken up by trees and plants, and all of the amphibians, birds, and wild life that feed in those areas, as well as the aquifers that provide our drinking water. As those lines cross 115 streams, 126 wetlands and numerous lakes and ponds the damage will be catastrophic, and it won’t stop as long as those lines need to be kept cleared.

Rather than cut a swath of precious forests down, then poisoning that swath with herbicides that harm our water and wildlife, all to save 3.6 metric tons per year of carbon dioxide, let’s leave the forests in place and ban a couple of large cruise ships from polluting our air and fishing waters. That small ban would save us a million vehicles of pollution “every day that they operate” from each banned ship, rather than the pollution of 767,000 cars per year.

Why do I say that? Because a large cruise ship does that in just one day. Not a year! While they are in port in Bar Harbor, or Portland they are still belching out toxic pollution at anchor. Then to top it off they are allowed to dump their sewage and trash as soon as they are three miles out. Lobster or haddock, anyone?

To close I will let the Chief of the Pessamit Nation, Rene Simon of Quebec, speak as to how ecologically friendly Hydro Quebec’s power really is:

“Between 1956 and 1978, 13 hydroelectric power stations and 11 reservoirs have been installed on Pessamit traditional territory forcing the Pessamit Innu First Nation from its vast traditional territory to live on a small reservation on the north shores of the St. Lawrence River. Economically sustainable activities for the First Nation, like hunting, fishing and trapping, have been eliminated by Hydro-Quebec.

“With only one exception, all hydroelectric facilities have been built without impact assessment studies, without Pessamit’s consent, without compensation, and in violation with the Canadian Constitution and Pessamit’s fundamental human rights.

“Consequently, 29 percent of the electricity that Hydro-Quebec endeavors to sell in New England still originates from Pessamit territory and therefore is owned by Pessamit.

“To this day, Hydro-Quebec is also directly infringing on three international conventions ratified by the Canadian government, including the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

It is our firm intention to denounce Hydro-Quebec’s disinformation machine throughout New England.”

Marjorie Montelon

Southwest Harbor

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