A twelfth municipality that could host a new power line proposed by Central Maine Power has voted to oppose the plan. At town meeting Thursday night, Starks residents rejected a motion to support the project, 42-to-14.
Other towns along the corridor to either oppose the project or rescind previous support include Farmington, Wilton, West Forks and Wiscasset. The Franklin County Commission has rescinded its support as well.
But on the same day as the Starks vote, the state Public Utilities Commission approved CMP's application for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. That's one of three state permits the project needs to move forward. The Commission found that the project's benefits, including suppressing electricity prices, would outweigh its harms.
In the Maine Legislature, meanwhile, project opponents are trying to muster support for a measure that would require that "high-impact" transmission projects win affirmative votes from host communities.
Another bill would require a new study of whether the CMP project would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, as supporters claim.
The 145-mile, billion-dollar power line would bring hydro-electricity from Canada into the regional grid, to serve Massachusetts customers.