In this Oct. 6, 2021, file photo, Central Maine Power utility lines are seen in Pownal. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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With winter approaching, the harsh reality of soaring electricity prices will soon be slapping us all in the face, and there’s the very real possibility that this process could be repeated next year at this time.

Central Maine Power is not the problem, it’s part of the solution. The massive jump in energy costs can be largely attributed to the sky-high price of natural gas. Unfortunately, we as Mainers are highly dependent on natural gas and other fossil fuels to heat our homes. It certainly makes me wonder if we all made a huge mistake when we collectively voted last year against the New England Clean Energy Connect.

Who fought the hardest against the NECEC? Fossil fuel companies like NextEra and Calpine. This is an industry that is raking in record profits at our expense. They argue that the project will not affect electricity prices in Maine. If that’s the case, why did they spend more than $20 million to stop it from being constructed?

The answer is obvious. This hydropower would cut into their market share. Adding another source of power would likely help stabilize prices here in Maine and across New England. While Mainers struggle to keep themselves warm this winter, I think NextEra and their fossil fuel friends are laughing all the way to the bank. Hopefully, our court system will find the referendum crafted by these companies unconstitutional and provide Mainers with a renewable energy option.

Trent Stewart