Maine court finds part of referendum blocking transmission line to Massachusetts unconstitutional
An embattled transmission corridor considered critical to Massachusetts’ climate effort was given new life Tuesday, after a ruling by Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court seemingly brought it back from the dead.
The project, which would bring hydroelectric energy from Quebec, through the wilds of western Maine and into Massachusetts, is a key piece of how Massachusetts plans to convert its energy grid from fossil fuels to clean energy.
But a vote in Maine last year to block the project left the transmission line on life support, all but dooming a major piece of Massachusetts’ plan to rapidly clean its power grid and likely setting the state’s climate efforts back by years.
The ruling Tuesday is far from a full green light for the project. The judges found that part of the Nov. 2021 referendum was unconstitutional, sending the case back to a lower court to decide its future. It will be up to that court to decide whether enough of the project had been completed prior to the vote that stopping it now would be unconstitutional under Maine law.
But many clean energy advocates were heartened.
“Like everyone, we were waiting with bated breath to see what the court would say, and it wasn’t clear which direction they would go,” said Daniel Sosland, president of the clean energy advocacy group the Acadia Center.
Read the full article in The Boston Globe here.