Heavy machinery is used to clear an existing Central Maine Power electricity corridor that has been widened to make way for new utility poles, April 26, 2021, near Bingham, Maine. Voters rejected a $1 billion transmission line but that is not the end of the polarizing project in the woods of western Maine. Credit: AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

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On Nov. 2, voters said “yes” to stop a transmission line bringing hydropower from Canada. Opponents of the line said it would only save the average Maine customer about 9 cents a month. Now it’s time to pay for that vote because saying “no” to hydro power means saying “yes” to fossil fuels, including the natural gas that provides some of our electricity.

The price of natural gas has increased more than 80 percent, thanks in part to the Biden administration shutting down pipelines, limiting natural gas production, fueling inflation, and helping to break the supply chain. Cost increases, as always, are paid by the consumer, so Versant and Central Maine Power customers are expected to see a monthly increase of about $30 … instead of a 9-cent reduction.

Elections have consequences, so, if people are looking for someone to blame for the cost increase, just look in the mirror. Don’t expect coal in Christmas stockings for being naughty — there’s a  supply chain problem with coal too, along with the pixie dust that makes electricity without environmental consequences.

Bruce Munger