Kudos to the Penobscot County Commissioners for hosting an informational public forum concerning the proposed East West Utility Corridor. They graciously allowed the public to ask questions and voice concerns alongside their own about this private project. Peter Vigue, CEO of Cianbro Corporation, was yet again evasive about the location of a route.
Information regarding proponents including towns, businesses, individuals, and investors was not forthcoming. I am weary of rhetoric about poverty and quality of life. Mr. Vigue has us practically dragging our knuckles in the dirt as we eke out a "hand to mouth" existence in the "hollow middle" of our state. Now, that's just rude. If "quality of life" is a super corridor defiling the last vestige of pristine wilderness on the east coast, I say "no thanks!" If "poverty" means cleaner air and water, safe communities, loving friends and neighbors, bring it on.
I wonder how the good people of Eastport feel about Mr. Vigue's commitment to relegate their picturesque village to a concrete wasteland of a deepwater cargo port. I tire of his statistics from Forbes magazine. It is not so gloom and doom. Maine ranks lowest in un-employment in the nation, one of the best track records for recycling, lowest nation levels of mercury in our ground and water, and some of the highest growth rates for organic agriculture in the past eight years. That sounds like a good quality of life to me, my children and grandchildren. The East West Corridor is promoted as an economic engine, a connection with "global markets."
Thought it may provide some short term employment, its sole purpose seems to be the extraction and export of Maine resources and a conduit for the export of Canadian energy, leaving Enbridge and the Irving boys breathless with anticipation. With all of Mr. Vigue's assurances that his first priority is the safety, health, and prosperity of our communities, I'm still scratching my head. If that were true, wouldn't he have approached us first for input to see if this was the direction we wished to take?
Once the land is purchased, the permits granted and politicians placated, there is no choice.
, Peter Vigue, Cianbro