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East-West Corridor

NOTE: This page still exists but is no longer the primary resource page.  There are now multiple resource pages available under the “east-west corridor” tab off our homepage: www.defendingwater.net/maine/.  Thanks!

Summary and Critical Info

Action Alert 3-26-12: Protest outside “Gateway to Opportunity” Luncheon with Peter Vigue this Thursday, March 29 at 11:30am (10:30am Maine time).  Location: 405 Milltown Boulevard, St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Link to action alert: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/03/action-alert-protest-gateway-to-opportunity-luncheon-this-thursday/

Update 3-22-12: The Senate and House approved LD 1671.  Our strategy is now to focus on educating and moblizing resistance along the route.  

Update 3-13-12:  Yesterday, April 12, the Senate passed LD 1671 by a vote strictly along party lines, 19 for and 15 against.  Now it goes to the house.  Keep contacting your reps! Articles:  http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/13/politics/senate-approves-east-west-highway-study-bill/

http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/19b99d713c824824a0ca1a62c31af96f/ME–East-West-Highway/

http://www.sunjournal.com/news/state/2012/03/13/study-east-west-highway-gets-initial-approval-main/1167752

Update 3-9-12: Broadcast on MPBN of Peter Mill’s speech to the Cumberland Club.  Peter Mills is the Director of the Maine Turnpike Authority, and stated that the toll would cost between $100-$200.  Start listening at 22:55 minutes here: http://www.mpbn.net/OnDemand/AudioOnDemand/SpeakingInMaine/tabid/294/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3480/ItemId/20640/Default.aspx

Update 3-1-12:  Canadian article notes concerns from U.S. Department of Homeland Security about the East-West highway, and border security.  It states that the border station at Coburn Gore would need to be rebuilt.  Just more taxpayer dollars funding this private project. http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/68558-maine-reviews-highway-proposal 

Action Alert 2-27-12:  Write to your District Representatives! We’ll only have one days notice on when the Maine House of Reps will vote on the bill, but it may be as early as Feb. 28-March 1.  Let’s get our voices heard!  

Link to Action Alert: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/action-alert-contact-your-rep-today-to-oppose-ld-1671/

Here is my letter to my Rep: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/letter-to-representative-vote-to-oppose-the-east-west-highway/

And a link to all House members’ emails: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/e_mail.htm

Update 2-24-12 / LNG & Propane & Highway Info:  Thanks to a wonderful investigator, we strongly suspect a link between the highway, Canadian fracking fields in Quebec and New Brunswick that would be connected by a LNG pipeline along this east-west corridor, and the proposed LPG tank in Searsport.  Here is a summary:  http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/connections-found-between-east-west-highway-canadian-fracking-fields-and-searsport-lpg-tank/

And additional links on propane’s use in LNG: http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2011/November/15111102.asp http://www.patexia.com/us-publications/20120042690/description/highlight/propane

Maps showing the fracking fields (hopefully more to come): 

http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/quebec-and-new-brunswick-fracking-leases-around-east-west-highway/

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SVsff5ByNdI/TisFrd3HWWI/AAAAAAAAAMw/2ghsw9K9tRk/s1600/IMG_0593.JPG

Update 2-16-12 / LTE examples:  In a split vote at the work session on 1671, the Transportation Committee voted to pass the bill.  Chris submitted additional testimony but was not asked to speak: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/ld-1671-work-session-testimony-talking-points-resource/

It now moves into the legislature.  We believe that our hard work together resulted in the split vote, which will make it much more contentious on the floor.  Stay tuned as we adjust our strategy for a floor fight.  The best action right now, is to write Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor voicing your oppostion to the highway.  Here are some examples (thank you for writing in!): 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/16/opinion/letters/tuesday-april-17-2012-wind-power-east-west-highway-and-gov-lepage/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/10/opinion/wednesday-april-11-2012-sandwich-wars-east-west-highway-and-teacher-evaluation/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/04/08/opinion/letters/monday-april-9-2012-ron-paul-maines-north-woods-and-the-east-west-highway/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/01/opinion/letters/friday-march-2-2012-east-west-highway-birth-control-and-overpopulation/

http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/east-west-highway-would-benefit-industry-at-expense-of-environment_2012-02-29.html?cmpid=morning-news-update-html

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/28/opinion/letters/wednesday-feb-29-2012-east-west-highway-world-basketball-teams-and-lurc/

http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/legislative-panel-members-disrespected-bills-foes_2012-02-27.html

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/22/opinion/letters/thursday-feb-23-2012-run-for-office-east-west-highway-and-ovarian-cancer/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/east-west-highway-faces-uphill-battle_2012-02-18.html

Update 2-14-12 / Press from Rally & Testimonies:  The Rally and Testimonies were a success!  Here is a link to our press coverage from the day: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/press-coverage-from-east-west-highway-rally-2-14-12/

and to our testimonies: http://defendingwater.net/maine/east-west-highway/testimonies-from-east-west-highway-hearing-and-work-session/

Update 1-27-12: Senator Douglas Thomas promoted the East-West highway to the Dover-Foxcroft selectboard on January 23rd.  The Selectmen did not pass a resolution about the highway at this time, saying it was too early and there weren’t enough details.  We ask: What exactly would the resolution be for?  If you have more information, or can access the town notes, please let us know!  Chris 

Link:  http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/27/news/piscataquis/state-senator-pitches-east-west-highway-proposal/?ref=latest

Update 1-20-12: The Small Business Administration is looking to provide capital for “small businesses that need it.”  There are two components of the article that are noteworthy.

1)  The SBA opened up a loan guarantee program to mission-based and community lenders. Three groups applied for the program in Maine and were approved: Coastal Enterprises Inc., the Eastern Maine Development Corp., and the Northern Maine Development Corp..

As a primary proponent of the East-West Highway, it is critical to monitor what the Eastern Maine Development Corporation does with these funds.

2)  In addition, the head of the SBA, Karen Mills, expressed that the Obama administration has an infrastructure proposal on the table, which would mean $200 million in projects for Maine.

With a pre-existing relationship with EMDC, and the East-West highway project needing funding, we must monitor this “infrastructure proposal.”  If anyone has information please let us know!  Chris

Link to SBA article: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/01/20/business/administration-seeks-to-increase-capital-for-small-businesses-that-need-it-mills-says/?ref=latest

Update 1-11-12:   Yesterday, LD 1671, the bill to fund the study was supposed to go into work session with the Finance and Appropriations Committee.  However, it was moved to the Transportation Committee and we are now watching to see when the work session will be scheduled.  Representative James S. Gillray (R-Searsport) is on the Transportation Committee.  Note below that it was the Searsport selectmen asking for support of the highway.  

Here is a link to the bill, LD 1671http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_125th/billtexts/SP057001.asp

Update 1-7-12:  Searsport selectmen ask Susan Collins to support the highway.  If you live in Searsport, please talk to your selectmen.  link: http://waldo.villagesoup.com/news/story/selectmen-press-senator-for-east-west-highway-development/477526

Update 12-16-11:  A nonprofit transportation research group out of Washington D.C., TRIP, released a statement identifying “Maine’s 50 most needed transportation projects for economic growth.”  #3 was the construction of a new east-west highway.  TRIP is sponsored by “construction businesses, insurance companies, equipment makers, labor unions and other transportation-related organizations.”  We believe TRIP’s role is to encourage private funding of the study, since funding from Maine taxpayers would be highly controversial, as we face severe cuts on social services. Chris  related link: http://www.tripnet.org/state-info-reports.php?state=Maine

Update 12-12-11: Here is the link between Vigue / Cianbro, Mobilize Eastern Maine / Eastern Maine Development Corporation / the Action Committee of 50, and LR2358…!  Brief summary: Cianbro doesn’t have the money for the feasibility study, and as part of this business group, wrote a letter to Legislators asking for an emergency bill (LR2358) to support funding.  Senator Thomas had sponsored a bill to approve funding earlier that was voted down 2-8. This letter from EMDC was an appeal to reconsider.  Thomas then sponsored the emergency bill and it passed 10-0.  Chris

Letter to Legislators: http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/EastWestHighway2011.pdf

Action Alert 12-8-11: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2011/12/action-alert-e…moving-forward/ 

Updates on Actions

1)  PROTEST outside “Gateway to Opportunity” Luncheon with Peter Vigue this Thursday, March 29 at 11:30am (10:30am Maine time).  Location: 405 Milltown Boulevard, St. Stephen, New Brunswick

Link to action alert: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/03/action-alert-protest-gateway-to-opportunity-luncheon-this-thursday/

2)  WRITE!  Write Letters to the Editor and Op-Eds in response to the articles on the highway, and to hold your representatives accountable for passing LD 1671.  Here are some talking points: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/ld-1671-work-session-testimony-talking-points-resource/,and here are links to some examples:

http://www.kjonline.com/opinion/east-west-highway-faces-uphill-battle_2012-02-18.html

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/22/opinion/letters/thursday-feb-23-2012-run-for-office-east-west-highway-and-ovarian-cancer/?ref=mostReadBoxOpinion

3)  RALLY on 2/14/12 was successful!  We had about 20 people attend with signs, and then we moved inside for the hearing on LD 1671.  There was good press coverage.

List of articles, radio shows, TV: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/press-coverage-from-east-west-highway-rally-2-14-12/

Link to our testimonies: http://defendingwater.net/maine/east-west-highway/testimonies-from-east-west-highway-hearing-and-work-session/

link to Rally alert:  http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/attention-all-committed-to-the-future-of-maine-kickoff-campaign-to-oppose-the-east-west-highway/

4)  Lisa’s Letter to Transportation Committee: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2011/12/sample-letter-…mittee-members/

5)  We are continuing to build an e-w action group.  Please contact me with suggestions, or put people in touch with me directly. chris (at) defendingwater (dot) net

Articles and Resources on E-W Highway Specifics

Current Articles:

Map of proposed route: http://defendingwater.net/maine/maine-east-west-highway-map/

Map of Canadian fracking leases: http://defendingwater.net/maine/2012/02/quebec-and-new-brunswick-fracking-leases-around-east-west-highway/

Senator Doug Thomas statement to the Transportation Committee sponsoring LR 2358: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzan7GYQSBI

Peter Vigue’s Powerpoint Presentation: http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/CIANBRO%20Presentation.pdf

USDA report on Ecological Impacts of Transportation Corridors: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr846.pdf

Multiple reports from North Carolina State University’s Center for Transportation and the Environment: http://www.itre.ncsu.edu/cte/Research/topic.asp?topic=3

A Canadian perspective: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/68558-maine-reviews-highway-proposal

Past Articles:

12-22-07 Cianbro’s plan for tollroad, great background info:  www.tollroadsnews.com/node/3318

12-07 more on Cianbro’s plan for tollroad, more background info: http://www.downeast.com/Down-East-Magazine/December-2007/Taking-Its-Toll

08-99 East-West Highway Report by Pamela Prodan of Forest Ecology Network: http://www.forestecologynetwork.org/tmwfall99_08.html

Allies:

Atlantica Watch:  http://www.stopatlantica.org/?q=node/9

Resist Atlantica: http://resist.stopatlantica.org/

Friends of the Boundary Mountains:

Forest Ecology Network:

RESTORE the North Woods:

Natural Resources Council of Maine:

EarthFirst!:

Occupy groups across Maine:

 Articles and Resources on E/W Highway Supporters (Business Group(s), etc.) 

Mobilize Eastern Maine.  MEM is an economic development movement. I believe MEM was the first project to coordinate business leaders, that has now become a broader “parent” organization.  They organized the November 10 meeting, and the Education Summit on Dec8 to reach out to educators: http://www.mobilizeeasternmaine.com/

Eastern Maine Development Corporation / Action Committee of 50.  EMDC calls themselves a “partner” of MEM but I think was formed as a corporation so MEM would have this kind of legal arm.  EMDC is promoting Eastern Maine as the “trade gateway” between Canada and the northeast U.S. The action committee is a core group of 50 businesses, that seems to me like the action arm of EMDC and MEM.  There are also links to the November 10th powerpoint presentations on this page.  http://www.emdc.org/index.php?id=36&sub_id=192

EMDC’s president, Michael Aube, contradicts himself as a primary highway proponent in an article describing the kind of economic initiatives that will bring prosperity to the region, “If our state is to succeed, Maine state government must end its paternalistic and noncollaborative relationships with local and regional efforts.”  more: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/23/business/catch-the-wave-to-a-better-economy/?ref=latest

Letter to Legislators written by Action Committee of 50 promoting E-W highway: http://www.emdc.org/document_upload/EastWestHighway2011.pdf

TRIP.  Formed in 1971, they call themselves a “national transportation research group.”  Oddly, web pages like “supporters” are not completed, and their focus has been on Maine, specifically their news release on the top 50 construction projects that would spur economic growth in Maine.  However, in the Bangor Daily News article, it states that TRIP is a nonprofit out of D.C. that is sponsored by construction businesses, insurance companies, equipment makers, labor unions and other transportation-related organizations.”  I’m confident that Cianbro has a seat at the table.  We are speculating that TRIP became involved to encourage private funding of the feasibility study, since funding from the state is unlikely and politcally controversial.  http://www.tripnet.org/

Atlantica.   The International Northeast Economic  Region (AINER).  This is a corporation, free trade friendly website about the Atlantica region.  Good to keep an eye on.  The links do not work.  http://www.atlantica.org/en/home/default.aspx

Canadian Ground Transporters.  Maine will be a shortcut.  http://www.trucknews.com/news/shortcut-through-maine-could-get-underway-by-2015-report/1000939836/#