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Judge denies CMP's request for preliminary injunction on Question 1 referendum

The ruling means the construction on the CMP corridor project remains stopped for now.

PORTLAND, Maine — Editor's note: The above video aired Dec. 15. NEWS CENTER Maine originally published this story saying the Northeast Clean Energy Council filed the injunction. That is incorrect. It is New England Clean Energy Connect.

A judge denied New England Clean Energy Connect's request Thursday for a preliminary injunction on the law passed by voters through the Question 1 referendum, a NECEC spokesperson said. 

Construction on the controversial Central Maine Power corridor will remain stopped for now. The law will go into effect on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the underlying court case challenging the constitutionality of that law will proceed in the Maine Business and Consumer Court. 

Avangrid, the parent company of CMP, has gone to court to overturn the law passed by voters last month. Avangrid said even a few more months delay in construction could mean the project will never be completed. 

The company argued the law passed by voters violates Maine’s constitution in several ways, primarily through the retroactive provisions that have new requirements for legislative approval of aspects of the corridor already permitted by state agencies.

NECEC released the following statement on Thursday:

“While we are disappointed in the court’s decision on the preliminary injunction, we remain confident that the full legal process will ultimately conclude that question one is unconstitutional. As one of the region’s most important clean energy projects, the NECEC will benefit Maine and all New Englanders by reducing the region’s dependence on fossil fuels which will result in cleaner air, lower energy prices and improved reliability. 

As Mainers face stiff increases on their electric bills this winter after generators significantly increased the price they charge for electricity, the region’s independent grid operator, ISO New England, called out the need for greater fuel diversity and baseload generation, pointing to the NECEC as a solution. 

The facts are clear: the NECEC project is good for Maine and for the region and will help address the energy, economic and climate issues we face. That is why we remain committed to this project and its many benefits and look forward to restarting construction as soon as we are able.”

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