Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Public hearing & news conference to oppose CMP corridor thru Maine



I attended the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers public hearing yesterday in Lewiston, Maine where well over 300 people turned out to testify and protest against Central Maine Power’s (CMP) proposed $1 billion transmission project that would bring Canadian hydropower to the New England power grid.  The 145-mile power transmission project would serve as a conduit for 1,200 megawatts of electricity from Hydro Quebec.


Prior to the start of the public hearing Lisa Savage, Maine Green Independent Candidate for the U.S. Senate, held a news conference to declare her opposition to the controversial project.  Speakers at the event (see above video) included Indigenous representatives from Maine and Canada, Jill Stein, Jonathan Carter (two-time MGIP candidate for governor and long-time forest preservation activist) and others.

Bob Klotz, Jill Stein and Jonathan Carter saying 'Stop CMP corridor' at hearing in Lewiston.  Eric Herter with camera on the left looking on.

Much of the testimony during the public hearing centered on Hydro Quebec's dramatic devastation of indigenous lands.  Hydro Quebec is among the top greenhouse gas emitters in the world. The new mega-energy installation they have created is not a source of green power - in fact it is among the dirtiest in the world.  Hydro Quebec's reservoir is the size of the state of Vermont which has destroyed human, animal, and plant habitats.  Many animal species, like the caribou, have disappeared from the region.


The transmission line proposed by CMP would move the dirty power from Hydro Quebec through Maine down to Massachusetts who would use the power to cover that state's promise to go green.  This transmission through Maine would require a 145-mile clearing of forests and heavily impact water, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries.

The transmission line would cross the famed Appalachian Trail at three different points.  Once these 100 foot high steel transmission towers are built, CMP will continually spray highly toxic herbicides to keep the vegetation away.  This will run off into the water and many fear the fishing in lakes, rivers and streams that brings many tourists to Maine will be devastated.

CMP lobbied the legislature in Augusta to prevent full discloser of the impacts of the power line through Maine.  They have resisted doing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and have repeatedly given false information to the media and the public about the controversial project.

Many of the speakers at the event appealed to the Army Corp of Engineers to use their influence to require an EIS or even reject the project.  People repeated spoke about the current climate catastrophe that we face and the need to protect the future generations by halting these kinds of mega-corporate power projects that are more about profits than green energy.  Instead people called for decentralized renewable energy in Maine and beyond.

You can see one article from the Lewiston Sun Journal that reported on the event here.

Bruce

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