Saturday, May 25, 2013
I was heartened to see an article about the East-West Corridor in Sunday's newspaper. Finally, we are given a few words in print on the debate about a project that could define the future of Maine.
Should Maine tie itself to a failed economic model that puts the future of human existence at risk or should it embrace a new local economy?
Peter Vigue's vision is a 220-mile, 2,000-foot wide, concrete and steel corridor bisecting the state from Calais to Coburn Gore. By comparison, the Maine Turnpike is 300 feet wide.
This will not be just a highway. It's a $2 billion investment that will create an ecological dead zone to speed the movement of resources and goods in a world economy.
By any standard, this world economy is a failure. It has lowered our standard of living. A foreclosure epidemic is driving us from our homes; poverty is on the increase, especially in families with children.
This world economy pumps greater amounts of carbon dioxide into the air to operate. Carbon pollution is making more of us sick and bringing on climate change that possibly will make large parts of the earth uninhabitable.
We do need investment in Maine, but investment in a new economy based on local values.
Visionary investors are starting a grist mill in Skowhegan and have a food-processing and storage facility in Belfast. The Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative is creating new market opportunities for small farmers. Money spent on these projects stays in Maine and doesn't go to Wall Street.
Investments in green businesses create more jobs on the dollar than the corridor could and move Maine's economy away from one that is unhealthful and making us poorer.
This is the road we should take.
Read Brugger, Freedom