Manufacturing Consent For CMP Corridor Not Going Well

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.

For more information on how to withhold your consent for this damaging project, visit

Dems And Repubs Team Up To Profit From CMP Corridor Project

I fished my copy of this junk mail out of the trash.

I wanted to share the latest in deceptive advertising funded by big money interests promoting a loathsome clear cut through the northern Maine woods. 

Photo credit: Joel Dorr

Miles of tree removal eliminates their beauty and carbon sequestration in a time of climate chaos in order to enable a transmission line from Canada to Massachusetts. That project will benefit Canadian energy behemoth Hydro-Quebec, Spanish energy behemoth Iberdrola (owner of Central “Maine” Power, or CMP), and Goldman Sachs (the project’s investment bankers).

The project is strongly opposed by most actual people who live in Maine.

A bill to block foreign corporate entities from pouring money into Maine to influence the outcome of referendum items was vetoed by Democratic Governor Janet Mills. She also vetoed the bill to establish a consumer-owned utility in Maine that would replace the rapacious CMP. 

Do I need to tell you that Mills supports the CMP corridor project?

Do I need to tell you that her predecessor, a Republican, also supported the CMP project?

I heard Bangor Daily News political editor Michael Shepherd laughing with conservative radio host Mike Violette (starts at 3:55 mark in the clip) about the strange bedfellows teaming up to produce the deceptive message: Willy Ritch, former spokesperson for progressive Democrat Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Adrienne Bennett, former spokesperson for arch conservative Republican Governor Paul LePage.

Willy Ritch was last seen in action heading up the 16 Counties Coalition, a Democratic Party front group that aimed to unseat incumbent Senator Susan Collins. He presided over a “with or without her” town hall event in Portland in August, 2019 that my husband and I attended. 

My husband, Mark Roman, submitted a question on military spending at the August 20, 2019 meeting managed by Willy Ritch, so I know there was at least one in the pile.

Ritch allowed not a single question “from the audience” about the military whose budget is well over half the federal discretionary budget each year, and only one question on climate despite these perilous times. 

So, he is an experienced manager of messaging and public perception, whose last job boiled down to “Republicans bad, Democrats good.” 

I suppose Ritch and Bennett are chummy in the way of paid professional communicators who will work for whoever is paying well at the moment.

Their newest astroturf group, Mainers For Fair Laws, wants voters to believe that, if something illegal was done in the past — like issuing permits for use of public lands without the necessary consent of 2/3 of the legislature — rescinding it now would be dangerous.

But we should and often do overturn bad laws to set things straight. For instance, Black people were once counted as 3/5 of a person in the census. (Some people argued against fixing that, too.)

The battle against the CMP corridor continues on many fronts: a lawsuit aimed at the corporate-controlled DEP, and November’s upcoming referendum question among them.

Want to stand with Native people whose lands are destroyed by mega dams to produce dirty energy in Canada?