Old News Archive

Letter to the Editor

April 18, 2013 - TRC - By Parkinson Pino

Dear ‘E/W Highway’ International Investors/Shareholders:
The Natives Are Restless! Mainers are coming to know you understand this proposed project as a ‘Transportation, Utility, & Communication Corridor.’ Worldwide interest covets investing in corridors, for they can host many revenue-generating entities, including Transportation: road and rail; Utility (Electricity/Pipelines): high-tension wires, underground cables, and windmills; fresh water, natural gas, and petroleum products; Communication: cables, fiber optics, and cell-towers.
Once rights-of-way are secured, lease contracts are negotiated within these corridor’s entities, each in dollars-per-foot relative to supply and demand. 220 miles across Maine totals 1,161,600 feet, so a $25/ft. petroleum pipeline generates nearly $30 million/year. This doesn’t include profits on the products themselves. Moreover, within the global marketplace, fresh water can be more valuable than oil.
Maine resources (and Maine as a resource) are wicked valuable. Your quest for return on your investments focuses intensively upon bottom-line profits. Our concerns for traditional sense of community, air/water quality, soil stability, woodlots, farmland, wildlife habitat, endangered/protected species, tourism, hunting, population/demographic changes, sound/light, public health, a target for terrorism, etc. directly impact your interests.
As Mainers understand this project’s full potential and long-term impact on Maine’s identity and resources, many insist we deserve compensation for altering our quality of life and place. Decades ago, the Permanent Fund Dividend awarded all Alaskans annual percentage of pipeline profits ($592M last year), yet now your 21st-century host-of-entities has not even offered benefits/profits to any Mainers, the State, and/or Federal entities within our State.
Our State is admittedly ‘Open for Business,’ not ‘Exploitation.’ The proposal you’re backing is lacking. All wicked-smart development in Maine must incorporate economic, social, and environmental concerns, yet Mainers have been pitched a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo. Mistrust and disgust motivates consideration of more viable alternatives. Mainers could encourage alternate Maine-based, American, and International businesses to compete to showcase their best technological, eco-friendly, and socially-responsible practices in serving our needs.
As a ‘private’ enterprise, Mainers are quite uncomfortable with this project having one owner possess/control the rights-of-way in three dimensions across Maine: E/W 220 miles; N/S 500+feet; and up ‘to the heavens’/down ‘to the core of the Earth.’ The one who owns/controls this ‘Great Wall of Maine’ for perpetuity, divides Maine, and could demand those who cross it pay-the-piper. Moreover, drones are the most economical/effective means to provide security for corridors, and Mainers consider them somewhat of a violation to the sanctity of ‘The way life should be.’
As a ‘public/private partnership,’ concern persists over Federal use of eminent domain. International borders merit the necessity of the Office of Homeland Security. When this project eventually joins in public/private partnership with the Feds, State and Local eminent domain are superseded. Consequently, Mainers will not secure the rights to seize the remaining unutilized or unknown entities within this proposed corridor for municipal use for the long-term public good.
Before this project is railroaded through Maine and you’ve paved paradise to put up a corridor, it might be wise to invest in incorporating its infrastructure within a statewide comprehensive plan involving the interests of Maine’s: DECD; Agritourism; Nature-tourism; Native American Nations; North Woods National Park concept; regional/local interests; and most importantly, the genuine consensus of all Mainers after they’ve been fully informed of its scope and long-term impact.
You can’t get there from here without honoring Maine with a 21st-century revision/restructuring of corporate interests. Invest in ME, but may your pursuit of profits serve the best interests of symbiotic sustainability, naturally respecting Maine’s nature, identity, values, visitors, citizens, and culture.
Parkinson Pino
Dover-Foxcroft


NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.