a recent public forum about Sears Island, MaineDOT Commissioner David Cole let out a big secret as he laid out his agency's vision of a Sears Island port. It would not be an ordinary container port, he said,
It would be a "Trans-shipment container port."
"The paradigm has significantly shifted" Cole declared, describing the plan for Sears Island to be
"a trans-shipment containerport connecting Maine to Europe, Asia and other parts of the world. is now part of the environmental solution" He envisioned "...stacked containers moving by rail from ships docking at Sears Island directly to depots in the midwestern US by way of Montreal."
NONE STOPPING IN MAINE, THOUGH, COMMISSIONER?
"The reality is" Cole piously said "a third of our carbon footprint comes from the transportation sector. If we're going to be serious at reducing it, you've got to work at finding more economical and environmentally friendly and energy efficient ways of moving goods. Shipping by sea and by rail -it would be a railport -comes to the port of Searsport as the most environmentally friendly way of moving goods."
Part of the environmental solution, eh? Most environmentally friendly, huh? Certainly that would be true if the port and rail system Cole dreams about would replace the trucks that fill our roads and highways, ceaselessly delivering to wholesale and retail outlets the goods we use in out daily lives.
But it won't! The Baldacci Admin dream is a "trans-shipment container railport" remember? Sears Island will just be a sort of global trade portal zone. One where containers from overseas are transferred to railcars for shipment nonstop to commercial centers in the Midwestern US. Not a single container will stay in Maine.
Meanwhile the highways will still be jammed with trucks, trucks, trucks...