Hydropower Pipeline Rejected By Maine Voters

Maine voters overwhelmingly supported a ballot measure that will halt construction on a hydroelectric transmission line that Massachusetts claims would reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

November 7, 2021, 7:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Feather River Dam

David Brimm / Shutterstock

Bruce Mohl reports on the success of a Maine ballot measure that blocks further construction on a hydro-electricity transmission line that Massachusetts officials say could help the state meet its climate goals by importing cleaner energy from Quebec. 

The Maine transmission line is the second attempt by Massachusetts to build a roughly $1 billion power cord to Quebec and its vast hydropower resources, which are considered crucial to [Massachusetts Governor] Baker’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Environmental groups in Maine, meanwhile, claim that the pipeline would impose "significant environmental harm" on that state, according to a statement from the Natural Resources Council of Maine quoted by Mohl. Part of the ballot measure, which passed by a 60 percent to 40 percent vote, calls for a two-thirds vote in the state legislature for any similar projects using public land, which the project will need in order to continue construction.

The Massachusetts Clean energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 lays out a framework for achieving emissions reductions and moving closer to the Commonwealth's goal of net zero GHG emissions by 2050. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in CommonWealth Magazine

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