Maine people delivered a stunning defeat to the Central Maine Power (CMP) corridor at the ballot box on November 2nd. The overwhelming vote to reject the corridor sends a clear message that Mainers are not going to accept the damage done to Maine’s western mountains, especially for a project that offers no new climate benefit.
Clearly, the time has come for CMP to respect the will of Maine people and stop the project. NRCM will continue to urge the Department of Environmental Protection to suspend the permit and require CMP to restore the areas the company has already clearcut. We have also called on Massachusetts to move forward with an alternative option for meeting its climate goals.
One thing is clear: the CMP corridor is in freefall, and whether the issue is the company’s obstruction of new solar projects, customer service problems, or the ridiculous scare tactics used in its advertising campaign, CMP has demonstrated that it can’t be trusted. Moving forward, NRCM will advocate for a clean energy future for Maine we can all be proud of. We can continue to develop local renewable sources including wind and solar energy. Combined with accelerated measures to construct more energy-efficient homes and businesses, and expansion of battery storage, we can build a more flexible, reliable electricity grid for the future that powers clean transportation and electrifies our homes.
Another priority in the coming year will be sovereignty for Maine’s four federally recognized Tribes: the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet Tribes, collectively known as the Wabanaki. These Tribes are the original inhabitants of Maine, and it is long past time to fully recognize their right to self-governance, self-determination, and equitable treatment. Last year, I testified in support of a bill (LD 1626) that would formally recognize Tribal sovereignty but it was held over until 2022. NRCM will continue to stand with the Wabanaki. To learn more, visit the Wabanaki Alliance’s website at www.wabanakialliance.com and follow them on social media for updates.
Thanks to all of your for your ongoing support of NRCM’s work. I wish you the very best as we head into the holiday season and new year!
—Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM CEO
This column originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2021 Maine Environment newsletter.