Maine faces a great challenge.
People have voiced opinions for months and months. CMP, owned by Avangrid and Iberdrola, wants to cut trees and build a transmission corridor through some of Maine’s pristine wilderness. That’s not acceptable to many Mainers.
But there is something else afoot - lots and lots of thinking leaves one in a quandary.
There are some tacit assumptions which are far more troubling than the need to build a corridor - or - decimate Maine’s wilderness to benefit consumers in Massachusetts.
Those assumptions are troubling. They fall into three categories.
First, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola has assumed that the land was there for the taking. CMP’s history of land ownership in Maine is legendary - and the assumption that the land was theirs for the taking is troubling because it’s an assumption of preemptory right. They assume it’s theirs anyway.
Second, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola has assumed that Maine people don’t care what the company does. They just assume that Mainer’s are too concerned with other things to care about the landscape or the money spent to purchase land and transmission paths. They assume we are too stupid to care.
Third, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola has taken the absolute path of least resistance, of minimum responsibility in creating this transmission corridor. It’s easy to slice through the forest and run a transmission line… that seems to provide local jobs. The jobs, or most of them, will go away once the transmission line is created; however, the transmission line will remain - generating revenue for CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola - for a very long time. The benefits accrued by the state of Maine are minimal in comparison to the profits the companies involved will reap over time. The companies involved could very well have a century of income compared to a decade of benefits to Maine. They assume we can’t think.
It almost feels as if CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola is plundering the state of Maine for its own profit. “Plundering” has a nice ring to it.
Instead, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola should consider taking more deliberate action to build the infrastructure of the state - of the region - from which they will accrue profits for generations.
The “corridor” could easily run along the lines of the proposed railway to Quebec and Montreal, and CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola could form an infrastructure partnership to build that railway/electric corridor to link Maine and Montreal and Quebec.
Building rail/transmission infrastructure could benefit the state and the region and the consumers, and yes, CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola.
It could be different; life could be easier.