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Maine Court To Hear Arguments About Bid To Stop Hydro Plan

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's highest court is scheduled to hear arguments about the future of a citizens' campaign to block a much-debated hydropower project. Wednesday's arguments concern the New England Clean Energy Connect, which calls for construction of a 145-mile high-voltage power line from Mount Beattie Township on the Canadian border to the regional power grid in Lewiston, Maine.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission granted the project a key certificate it needed to move forward, but petitioners gathered enough signatures to put the approval up for a statewide vote.

Central Maine Power has proposed the transmission line. Avangrid Networks, CMP's parent, sued the state of Maine with a claim the citizens' initiative was unconstitutional and the vote should be barred.