Benjamin Dudley of Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs spoke with us Oct. 8 concerning Question 1 on the Nov. 2 ballot, which reads:

“Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?”

This deals with the New England Clean Energy Connect created by CMP, a 145-mile corridor to connect Hydro-Quebec to rate-payers in Massachusetts. This includes a 53-mile clear-cut through forest that conservationists argue is important.

This was approved by multiple government agencies.

But… “Yes” on One folks argue this alters public lands (lawmakers agree). Since 1993, Maine’s Constitution requires the Legislature’s approval for such projects. That did not happen here.

In August, Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy vacated CMP’s lease on a 1-mile section of the project, citing this law.

Dudley argues the benefits outweigh the drawbacks for the corridor, especially in terms of creating clean energy that will combat climate change. He notes that those seeking to ban the corridor have received funding in the campaign from large fossil fuel companies.

We have now interviewed both sides of this discussion. See also our video with Sandi Howard of “No CMP Corridor.”