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Mills Vetoes Bill That Would Limit CMP's Ability To Seize Private Land For Transmission Project

Fred Bever
Maine Public
CMP's proposed transmission line would cross right over the trail Duane Hanson uses to get to his off-the-grid home near the Canadian border.

A bill that would limit Central Maine Power's ability to seize land for its proposed 145-mile transmission project has failed following a veto by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. The House voted 79-64 to override the governor's veto, well short of the two-thirds support needed to keep the bill alive.

The proposal would have changed state law that allows utilities to seize private land and bypass municipal governments for infrastructure projects.

Supporters argued that the law should be changed because the CMP transmission line is intended to help Massachusetts meet its renewable energy goals, and not to directly benefit Maine electricity customers.

Mills said in her veto message that the bill would set a bad precedent and give towns disproportionate power over utility projects.

The bill might not have ultimately affected the CMP project because the utility has rights to the entire corridor as currently proposed.