NRCM news release
April 11, 2019 (Starks, ME) – Residents of Starks tonight overwhelmingly rejected a motion to support the Central Maine Power (CMP) corridor project by a vote of 42-14, becoming the latest town along the proposed massive transmission line to speak out against the project.
The move by Starks is yet another example of how the CMP corridor faces deep and growing opposition across Maine. A recent statewide poll showed 65% of Mainers oppose the project, and the numbers get worse for CMP in the region directly affected by the project where 90% of voters in Franklin County and 83% of voters in Somerset County are opposed to the proposed power line.
“The vast majority of Mainers understand that CMP’s corridor is fundamentally flawed,” said Dylan Voorhees, Climate and Clean Energy Director at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “It just doesn’t make sense to damage the North Woods for a money-making project that won’t benefit the climate, will harm precious brook trout and deer habitat, and will make it harder for Maine renewables to get to market.”
Twelve towns along the proposed corridor have now voted to oppose the project or have rescinded support: Alna, Caratunk, Dennistown, Embden, Farmington, Jackman, Moose River, Starks, The Forks, West Forks, Wilton, and Wiscasset. The Franklin County Commissioners have also voted to rescind their support and oppose the project. More than 10,000 Mainers have signed a petition opposed to the project.
The project also faces increased scrutiny by the Maine Legislature. One bill, LD 640, would require an independent analysis of the project’s climate impact and a trio of bills, LD 1383, LD 271, and LD 1363, would protect local control over for-profit transmission projects like the CMP corridor.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Thursday gave the CMP corridor its stamp of approval but the troubled project faces many layers of review, any one of which could ultimately lead to its defeat if a permit is denied. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Land Use Planning Commission are currently reviewing the project and a final decision is not expected until Fall 2019. CMP also has to receive several local and federal permits, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities must also sign off on the project.
For more information and background material on the CMP transmission corridor, visit www.nrcm.org/projects/climate/proposed-cmp-transmission-line-bad-deal-maine/.