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Politics

Maine lawmakers call on Massachusetts’ governor to end support for CMP's transmission line project

Election 2021 Hydropower Transmission Corridor
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
FILE - Heavy machinery is used to cut trees to widen an existing Central Maine Power power line corridor to make way for new utility poles, April 26, 2021, near Bingham, Maine.

Some fifty Maine lawmakers are calling on Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to end his state's support for Central Maine Power's controversial transmission line project, now that state voters here have roundly rejected it.

The New England Energy Connect, as the new corridor through western Maine is called, would bring hydroelectricity from Canada into the regional grid in order to serve a contract with Massachusetts utilities. That would help the Bay State meet its statutory goals for low-polluting electricity.

But the project's also unpopular in Maine, as voters proved with their vote this month to kill it. And Rep. Rebecca Millett, a Cape Elizabeth Democrat, wants Gov. Baker to pay attention.

"Overwhelmingly across the state of Maine voters spoke in support of the referendum and we need to acknowledge that and ask our partners in New England to respect that outcome And together to find a different solution," Millett said.

A bipartisan group of 50 Maine lawmakers joined Millett in signing the letter. Millett said that while Baker may not have the authority to terminate the contracts, it's important to let Maine voters know that the message they sent is being heard.