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Question 1- Summary Stance from the Executive Team

October 26, 2021

Summary Stance of Question 1 from SMMC Executive Team

Before we dive into our stance, it needs to be mentioned that this citizen’s initiative has been one of the most expensive, polarizing and frankly misleading campaigns in Maine’s history.  The inciteful rhetoric used, and the intentional insinuations of untoward antics that some political action committees on each side have used to try and deceive voters to manipulate their votes, is disgusting. What have we come to when political action committees think so little of our intellect that they choose to reduce major policy issues into a battle of which side can outrage their supporters more with inflammatory accusations?  This very complex issue deserved better, in our eyes, than to be reduced to lowest common denominator mudslinging.  We hope future referendums don’t devolve into similar rock fights and that we can go back to discussing the merits of these major issues without these unnecessary histrionics.  

After weighing each side of this issue, our SMMC Executive Committee believes that although both sides have considerable merit, that the benefits of the project outweigh the costs of the project and recommend, like the Governor’s office, and the editorial boards of the Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News, Sun Journal have, to support a position of No on 1

The bottom line for us is this:    
Any major clean energy project will require new infrastructure and will have some impact on the existing environment.  It's hard to imagine any future proposal being less intrusive than this project which has 2/3s of it being built on their own land beside existing power lines, and the remaining 1/3 running through commercial logging lands. This new section of the line, being no wider than the length of a baseline on a little league field, runs through the unorganized territories. Meaning, we’re not rehoming people, running it through parks, through school yards or anywhere that many people live, while also permanently conserving 40,000 acres of Maine forest to offset the impact of the 964 acres of new land being used- a 40:1 ratio. 

Additionally, Maine gets $258M in incentives including $140M in discounted rate relief alone, while also each municipality along the project route getting the increased tax revenues of CMP building new poles and wires on their existing land.  Add to that the jobs the construction has created for Mainers, the secondary economic impacts of those working on the project grabbing lunches and hotel rooms to be near the project site, and the greenhouse gas reduction equivalent to taking 700,000 vehicles off the road, and our team can conclude that in our estimation the benefits outweigh the costs for this project.

For those reasons, our SMMC Executive Team is recommending a stance of No On 1 this November 2.

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