FARMINGTON, Maine — After being bombarded with campaign advertising for months, Maine voters finally got their say on Question 1 which sought to reject the $1 billion Central Maine Power hydropower transmission corridor.
With approximately 60% of the vote, Mainers rejected the corridor and the Yes on 1 campaign prevailed.
Supporters of the ban on the corridor celebrated the victory Tuesday night at a campaign party at volunteer headquarters is. The Farmhouse Beer Garden, where the event was held, is just a few miles from the corridor.
The leaders behind the campaign say the results send CMP and the transmission line project a clear message.
Lead petitioner Tom Saviello said, "Mainers spoke tonight. They said we don't want this corridor. It's time for CMP to stop building it. That's what the people in the state of Maine said."
Sandi Howard, director of No CMP Corridor, said, "It's a strong message. And our next step is to ask CMP to stop constructing the corridor because the Maine voters have spoken."
Saviello said he does not believe this referendum passing will have a negative impact on future clean energy projects coming to Maine.
"No, no," Saviello said, "it won't discourage it because if you have a good reputation and you work with the state of Maine and are transparent about what you do, you won't have any problem working with the state of Maine."
The No on 1 campaign did not hold an event on Tuesday night. Its final event was in Augusta on Monday, with several people who are working on constructing the corridor.
However, Clean Energy Matters, a political action committee which supported No on 1, released a statement Tuesday night as the results looked to favor the opposing side:
"We believe this referendum, funded by fossil fuel interests, is unconstitutional. with over 400 Maine jobs and our ability to meet our climate goals on the line, this fight will continue."
Leaders with the Yes on 1 campaign indicated they're prepared for this issue to be a continuous battle.
"It's such a lot of profit that they stand to lose. So it's completely predictable that they're going to challenge any outcome that doesn't go their way," said Howard.
Question 1 is the most expensive ballot initiative in state history, with the campaigns raising nearly $100 million.