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

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

A conceptual rendering of three high-speed rail trains. The middle train is orange; the other two are black.

The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues

Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.

May 22, 2022 - Eric Carlson

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Liquid natural gas tanker in Klaipeda, Lithuania

Europe's New Energy Infrastructure Begins to Emerge

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin hoped to quickly redraw national boundary lines in Eastern Europe. The region's energy infrastructure, particularly pipelines carrying natural gas, may change sooner.

2 hours ago - POLITICO Europe

An electric bicycle is shown with the legs of a human who is riding the e-bike.

Making the Case for E-Bikes

A new white paper lays the groundwork for better e-bike incentive programs.

3 hours ago - Streetsblog USA

A vacant department store in Coolidge, Arizona.

How To Slow the Wave of Commercial Vacancies

Empty storefronts depress property values and suppress small business growth. What can cities do to fill these vacancies?

5 hours ago - Next City

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.