Analysis & Opinions - Portland Press Herald

Maine Voices: Learning the Right Lessons from CMP’s Corridor Debacle

| Dec. 09, 2021

Fair compensation, public involvement and wise site selection are among what clean-energy projects need to succeed.

The Central Maine Power corridor has been rejected by Maine voters, its permit is suspended and it faces potentially fatal legal challenges, so now is a critical time to learn the right lessons from what went wrong with the CMP corridor.

First and foremost, every project that claims to address the climate crisis is not necessarily a good project. Developers should not mistake the public’s concern about climate change as permission to bring forward poorly planned projects. Scrutiny by the public is legitimate and useful, and that’s what Maine voters provided. We should respect their verdict that the CMP project is a bad deal for Maine.

Second, site selection is destiny. CMP chose a highly controversial path and struggled every step of the way to defend it. The company was so focused on picking a route to maximize profits and minimize its bid price to Massachusetts that it ignored how Maine people would react. Rather than proposing to bury the line along roadways, CMP quietly secured a corridor through 53 miles of western Maine forestland because it was cheaper. This approach built enormous resentment and made it high-risk by design.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Clement, Joel and Pete Didisheim.“Maine Voices: Learning the Right Lessons from CMP’s Corridor Debacle.” Portland Press Herald, December 9, 2021.