By lambert strether. A version of this post appeared at Corrente . This post has with new material added that applies in part to fracking.
So here’s the deal, and linky goodness will be lacking today (and a lot of this is what activists have put together in discussion, so links are lacking anyhow. And as the great Peggy Noonan once said: “It would be irresponsible not to speculate!”)
One of Maine’s issues as a state is that we have an extractive economy that’s doesn’t support us as well as it used to, what with producing more with less in pulp and paper , and with the forest product industry tending to move where costs and regulations are lower, and/or closer to the equator, where trees grow faster and bigger. We continue to extract from fisheries and summer people, naturally, but those resources, although renewable with careful management, are seasonal and mostly support the coast. And Nestlé extracts our water at Poland Springs. But the sort of people who play golf together and fly over the state in executive jets seem to see two main “opportunities”: One is our oodles of empty space,* hence landfills and importing of out-of-state trash.** The other is our geographical position between Quebec and New Brunswick. Location, location, location!
Which brings me to the “East-West Corridor.” Here’s a map. The blue strip shows the Corridor’s route, kinda sorta. (The local oligarch shilling the plan, Cianbro construction czar Peter Vigue, has the real map, but he keeps it locked up in his office.)
Now, a word about the business model behind the Corridor. The Corridor is essentially a land deal. Key point: The Corridor would be privately owned . That means that the (unnamed, as yet unknown) owners of the corridor would be able to