Proposed CMP Settlement Fails to Change Minds
NRCM News Release
Tonight voters in the town of Wilton voted to rescind the town’s previous support and take a position opposed to CMP’s proposed transmission corridor from Canada through Western Maine. Like many other towns, Wilton’s select board had signed an early letter in support of the project, well before state agencies began their reviews, and before the public understood its negative impacts and lack of benefits for Maine. At tonight’s packed town meeting, citizens voted overwhelmingly for the town to oppose the project. (Voters specifically rejected options to remain in support or take a neutral position.) A majority of the select board supported this decision.
Wilton is the latest in a growing list of towns and organizations withdrawing their support or outright opposing the project. Towns along the corridor that have rescinded support or voted to oppose include: Caratunk, West Forks, The Forks, Alna, Jackman, Dennistown, Embden, and now Wilton. More than 10,000 Maine people have signed a petition opposed to the project.
“Wilton is now the eighth town to vote to withdraw support from or oppose the CMP corridor,” said Dylan Voorhees, NRCM Clean Energy Director. “The harmful impacts of the project on natural and recreational resources—from trout streams to snowmobile trails—are overwhelming compared to any claims of benefits.”
The vote was the first town wide decision to occur after CMP proposed a settlement package to the Public Utilities Commission. The settlement proposal includes a mere $5 million ($3.5 million in real dollar terms) for economic development to be shared among all Franklin County towns. It also includes a rate relief fund that would reduce electricity bills for Maine households by a few cents per month. See NRCM’s analysis of the settlement proposal.
“It is not surprising that CMP’s proposed settlement failed to impress the voters of Wilton,” said Voorhees. “The settlement does little to mitigate the negative impacts of the project and nothing to change the project’s fundamental flaw: the CMP corridor would not result in a reduction in carbon pollution.”
“Momentum against the CMP corridor continues to grow. The CMP project should be rejected so that Maine can focus instead on developing new in-state renewable energy that would create jobs and actual benefits for environment. We need comprehensive solutions for Maine and New England that aren’t designed primarily to enrich international energy corporations.”
For more information and background material on the CMP transmission corridor, visit www.nrcm.org/climate/cmp-transmission-line-proposal/.
Founded in 1959, the Natural Resources Council of Maine is our state’s leading nonprofit membership organization protecting Maine’s land, air, waters, and wildlife. We harness the power of science, the law, and the voices of more than 20,000 supporters from across Maine and beyond to protect the nature of Maine.