Maine Currents 1/7/20: CMP Corridor Draws Opposition from Across the Political Spectrum

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman
Production assistance: Meredith DeFrancesco, WERU-FM & Sunlight Media Collective
Audio provided by: North American Megadam Resistance

NOTE: The first audio file (below) is this program, and the second is a full, unedited recording of the Megadam Resistance tour speakers in Augusta in November 2019, used with their permission.

If you come from a politically mixed family here in Maine, chances are there was one topic you were able to discuss over the holidays without anyone getting disowned. The New England Clean Energy Connect – or the CMP Corridor as it is widely known- is drawing opposition from all over the political spectrum.
Building the corridor would involve cutting 53 miles through undeveloped forest in Western Maine. According to the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the damage would fragment the largest contiguous temperate forest in North America and perhaps the world. The corridor would traverse Maine to bring pricier energy, that supporters call “green”, from HydroQuebec dams in Canada to Massachusetts.

Maine Governor Janet Mills supports the project, after, she says, she negotiated with HydroQuebec and “insisted that the project include electric vehicle charging stations, provisions to support renewable energy, broadband access, and heat pumps, as well as cash relief for ratepayers over and above the benefits of lower electricity prices”. Many towns that initially were in support have changed their minds, as has the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine after realizing that a majority of their members were in opposition.

The guests on this program represent some of the different parts of the political spectrum that oppose the project.

Dawn Neptune Adams is a member of the Penobscot Nation, a narrator and citizen-journalist with Sunlight Media Collective, Wabanaki liaison to the Maine Independent Green Party, and a Racial Justice Consultant to the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine. She met with the Cree and Innu People from the North American Megadam Resistance speaking tour in November to learn more about the situations in their territories. We hear some clips from their presentation during this program as well.

And joining us by phone, from arguably what is usually the other end of the political spectrum, is Tom Saviello, former Republican State Senator Franklin County and former State Representative for 6 towns in Franklin County including his home town of Wilton. He is the former Chair of the joint Standing Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. He has a BS degree in Forestry from the University of Tennessee, and an MS in Agronomy & a PHD in Forest Resources from UMO. He has worked for 33 years in the forest industry starting as a research forester and retiring as the environmental manager at the Androscoggin Mill.


Say No to NECEC
Northeast Megadam Resistance
Natural Resources Council of Maine CMP Transmission Line Proposal: A Bad Deal for Maine
Sierra Club of Maine CMP Transmission Line
RadioActive 11/14/19 Indigenous Resistance to Megadam Power in Canada
New England Clean Energy Connect
Governor Janet Mills’ statement on NECEC

Catch the award-winning Maine Currents, independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month, 4-5pm on WERU-FM, streaming live at and on the WERU app

About the host:
Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices and Maine Currents, she also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and the First Place 2017 Radio News Award from the Maine Association of Broadcasters.