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Hydro-Quebec CEO: Company Fell Short In Making Case For CMP's Transmission Project

The CEO of Canadian energy giant Hydro-Quebec says the company could have done a better job making its case for Central Maine Power's controversial 145-mile transmission line through western Maine.Eric Martel appeared Tuesday on Maine Calling, and fielded questions from critics of the project, including Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

Voorhees criticized Hydro-Quebec for making claims to editorial boards and on the air about project facts, but never in permit proceedings in Maine.

Martel said he'd be happy to discuss the project with Voorhees. "I'll invite you - the next time I'm here I'd love to sit with you so that we can go through these points and make sure that we all have the right information, but.."

"Under oath?" Voorhees asked.

"Ah, I don't need to do that under oath," Martel answered, "but I don't know, I'm not a lawyer, so all this..."

"Well that's how we do things when we provide information to the Public Utilities Commission," Voorhees said. "It's under oath and other people get to ask us questions in public, in a transparent way."

Asked whether state voters should have final say on the project, Martel said that would be fair. Opponents were at the polls Tuesday gathering signatures needed to get the question on next November's statewide ballot.  

A Columbia University graduate, Fred began his journalism career as a print reporter in Vermont, then came to Maine Public in 2001 as its political reporter, as well as serving as a host for a variety of Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television programs. Fred later went on to become news director for New England Public Radio in Western Massachusetts and worked as a freelancer for National Public Radio and a number of regional public radio stations, including WBUR in Boston and NHPR in New Hampshire.