MAINE, USA — A political action group that supports the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect project, which plans to cut a new 53-mile corridor through the woods and mountains in western Maine, says they will begin releasing a series of new ads on television and online to highlight the low impact the CMP corridor will have on Maine’s environment.
“Just one-hundredth of one percent of Maine’s forests will be touched by the project,” said the group behind the campaign, Clean Energy Matters. “The new corridor construction will be in areas where commercial logging has gone on for generations.”
Clean Energy Matters made the announcement about the robust campaign on Thursday, saying two 30-second ads will start running Friday, December 6, focusing on the path of the corridor and saying "the project will cross underneath the Kennebec River, not over it."
“The path of this project was designed to protect our natural resources, so the folks who rely on these lands to make a living, and those want to keep enjoying them, won’t have their way of life disrupted,” said Jon Breed, Executive Director of Clean Energy Matters. “That is a perfect example of how the people behind this project listened to the feedback of Mainers in this area.”
But not everyone agrees that CMP's transmission line project will benefit Maine's environment or its people. In fact, opponents of the Clean Energy Connect project received approval from the Maine Secretary of State on October 18, 2019, to gather signatures for a petition that could force a statewide vote on the transmission line.
Petition organizers say they plan to start gathering signatures right away, in time for the Maine Legislature to act this winter and get the question on the ballot by November 2020.
Tom Saviello, a resident who lives in the area where the project is expected to break ground told NEWS CENTER Maine's Don Carrigan during an interview that he hopes the opponents can stop the big power line.
“There is no fair deal for Maine, the deal they cut for 250 million dollars is worth 37 cents a month per Mainer or about the equivalent of a Whoopi's pie. While they will make five million per month,” said Saviello.
Central Maine Power and its parent company insist opponents are wrong and that project is good for Maine. In a written statement the companies say, "We stand ready to aggressively promote the truth of the environmental and economic benefits of this clean energy project for Mainers. The CMP Clean Energy Corridor is a step towards addressing climate change."