The damage to Maine’s woods wrought by the Central Maine Power (CMP) corridor project is all around me these days. It’s hard to get a photo of it that really captures the ugliness when you’re on the ground (first photo above taken by my husband Mark Roman on Pleasant Ridge Road in Bingham last week, second photo taken by me in the same location).
Mark took this one on Route 201A in North Anson a few days later. It is directly adjacent to the athletic fields that are part of Carrabec High School where I used to work.
Should a massive high power line be located right next to a school?
Iberdrola, the corporation based in Spain that owns CMP, plus Hydro-Quebec and investment bankers Goldman Sachs stand to make millions on the project to sell electricity from Canada to Massachusetts via Maine. Sometimes called “the Massachusetts extension cord,” the project is almost universally despised by actual Mainers. On November 2 we’ll have a chance to vote yes on 1 to reject the project.
Attempts to manufacture consent for the project have fallen flat.
Recently ads claiming the dangers of retroactive laws (without even naming the unpopular project) were dealt with handily by political columnist Al Diamon in “Firing the Retro Rockets” on October 4.
“It’s true the anti-corridor referendum contains retroactivity clauses. Contrary to what the TV spot says, that information isn’t hidden in the fine print. It’s right there in the ballot question, which states it would stop the CMP project and “require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land.”
…What the retroactivity clauses aren’t is any different than bills the Legislature already approves. Because our lawmakers currently possess the power to pass retroactive laws.
This is neither a good idea nor a bad one. It’s something that’s necessary occasionally to correct a problem that nobody foresaw.”
The only thing Al got wrong was arguing that the project is not “green” based only on the clear cutting of trees.
Actually far more climate damage is done by the flooding of wooded areas as big as Ireland, which generates massive amounts of methane that is released into Earth’s atmosphere. The mega dams that are fed by these reservoirs churn out profits, but at what cost?
Alongside climate harm is the additional enormous damage to indigenous people in the flooded areas, the poisoning of their food sources, and destruction of their way of life. It is not an overstatement to characterize these actions by wealthy profiteers as cultural genocide.
This press release from impacted communities in Canada is likely to make your hair stand on end.