5/17/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
Right now, Central Maine Power is finishing the details on a contract that would allow them to expand and operate a hydropower line going from Quebec, through Maine and ending in Massachusetts as part of the New England Clean Energy Connect.
However, four Maine state lawmakers have signed a letter to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities attempting to gum up the works and turn out the lights on the project.
Maine First Media has obtained a copy of the letter and included it at the bottom of this story.
As Gov. Paul LePage’s Special Adviser on Energy, James LeBrecque explains, Hydro-Quebec has more than enough hydropower to spare. In fact, they have about 34 nuclear power plants worth of water energy. Maine already has a line, owned by Central Maine Power, that would connect Quebec and Massachusetts.
However, the pipe would need to be expanded by 150-Feet all the way along the 145-Mile route. The $900-Million in construction required would create tons of high paying jobs for Mainers.
Once the hydropower arrived in Massachusetts, it would be utilized by New England energy grid, meaning Maine would share in the power supplied from the line.
And since hydropower has proven to be more reliable, more efficient, cheaper and just as clean as wind and solar power, Mainers could be on the receiving end of lower energy bills if this project moves forward. According to LeBrecque, at the very least, your energy bills wouldn’t go up as quickly as they inevitably will without this project taking place.
To give you an idea, this hydro line will produce the equivalent amount of power to building a nuclear plant in Maine. For solar to provide the same amount of power, they would have to install 35-Million solar panels, at the cost of about $25-Billion. For wind to supply the same amount of power, wind power companies would have to blow up 90-Mountains the size of Mars Hill and fill them with gigantic wind turbines. However, even if either of those options were feasible (and they’re not), Mainers wouldn’t be able to afford the energy bills created.
The four Green Crony Corporatists opposing the project are the heads of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (Republican Sen. Tom Saviello of Franklin County and Democrat Rep. Ralph Tucker of Brunswick), and the Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology (Republican Sen. David Woodsome of York County and Democrat Rep. Seth Berry of Bowdoinham).
In their attempt to do the bidding of the wind and solar lobbies and block the hydropower line, the swamp creatures make three unfounded claims about the project:
- It will not reduce and may actually increase total greenhouse gas emissions,
- It may result in lost jobs, tax revenue, and energy investment in Maine, and
- It does not offer meaningful financial benefits to the people of Maine.
LeBrecque shoots down all three points with ease in his radio interview. And considering he’s an energy expert and they are part-time legislators who didn’t provide any evidence to back their assertations, it was like shooting fish in a barrel for LeBrecque.
As for the first point, Maine is more dependent on oil than any other state in America. The hydropower line would mitigate that by allowing a portion of Maine’s power to come from clean water. Are Senators Saviello and Woodsome and Representatives Tucker and Berry really expecting anyone to buy that water energy is not cleaner than energy from oil? LeBrecque calls this point “100% false.”
As for their second point, the project would actually create jobs and tax revenue. The construction jobs required was mentioned earlier. And since the line is 145-Miles running through the state, the entities benefiting from it will pay taxes and fees Maine. In fact, New Hampshire funds most of its budget from these types of taxes and fees.
When they say it may result in a loss of energy investments, they could be right. Wind and solar companies can only compete if they receive massive government subsidies. If the state moves to energy policies with a proven track record, the dollars from the wind and solar lobbies would soon dry up for the Green Crony Corporatist legislators.
If Maine wants to mitigate our reliance on oil heating, the best paths forward for Mainers — or the energy sources that provide the best bang for the buck — are nuclear, geothermal and hydro. Under the current wind and solar scheme, hardworking Mainers are forced to pay for the few consumers who use wind and solar. The only people benefiting are those who profit from the deep pockets of the wind and solar lobbies.
And the only reason why Maine can’t look to buy directly from Hydro-Quebec is Leftist lawmakers voted against lifting the caps on hydropower from Canada during the latest legislative session.
Energy issues are very complex, Maine First Media highly recommends listening to LeBrecque’s interview referenced above for more details.