Letter to the editor: NECEC is about profit, not environmental aid



One problem faced by many opponents of the Central Maine Power Corridor is the lack of a comprehensive environmental impact assessment. The Environmental Protection Agency requested and received one for an earlier effort in New Hampshire. He recommended burying most of the project’s power lines to reduce the impact on the environment, at a cost of $ 1.6 billion.

The EPA has requested a full environmental impact study in Maine asking it to specifically examine underground and other options. The Army Corps of Engineers is being sued for not having carried out a complete environmental impact study of the CMP corridor and having opted for a less rigorous “environmental assessment”. For a project that establishes a new 53-mile cut – crossing over 250 streams and the Appalachian Trail – why wasn’t a full study done?

Hydro-Quebec now has a second option. New England Clean Energy Connect, without an environmental impact study, will use overhead lines and cost $ 950 million. For a project that once boasted that it was all about the environment, why skip the full study and do the right thing for the environment in the Maine Forest? Hydro-Quebec’s financial forecasts forecast a profit of $ 10 billion over 20 years from the corridor. Why not follow EPA guidelines and take advantage of $ 9.4 billion?

NECEC is not about providing clean energy to New England and protecting the environment. They might already have the lines in place across Vermont if that was the case. NECEC wants Hydro-Quebec to benefit from an additional $ 600 million. As residents of Maine, we do not owe them this opportunity at all.

Eric Bakke

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