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Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Report on the Development of the Passamaquoddy-St. John River Basin

July 12, 1965

Dear Mr. President: (Dear Mr. Speaker:)

I am transmitting herewith a report on the Passamaquoddy-St. John River Basin power development, together with a recommendation for the immediate authorization of the Dickey-Lincoln School project on the St. John River. Construction of this project would be contingent upon the completion of necessary arrangements with the Government of Canada.

This report, which has my approval, was prepared under the general direction of the Secretary of the Interior, and in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies concerned.

The report in draft form has been circulated to the Federal agencies concerned and to the Governors of the New England States for their review and comments. These comments accompany the report.

Authorization of the Dickey-Lincoln School project and the carrying forward of the other recommendations contained in the report is a highly important step in the future economic growth of the New England area.

New England is an area of exceptionally high power costs. The Federal Power Commission's 1964 National Power Survey revealed that the cost of producing, transmitting, and distributing power in New England is 28 percent above the national average.

To some extent, this reflects a lack of native resources of coal, oil and natural gas and the consequent high cost of these fuels when used for electric generation. To an equal extent, however, it reflects the relative lack of large-scale generation and transmission facilities.

The Dickey-Lincoln School project is among the best of the unexploited resources of New England and fits admirably into plans for broad scale and long-term improvement for energy costs in New England.

Much of the 794,000 kilowatts of power which would be installed ultimately at the Dickey-Lincoln School project can be made available to meet peakloads on systems elsewhere in New England at estimated costs to these systems in the range of $15.50 per kilowatt-year and 3 mills per kilowatt-hour. These costs compare favorably with the more economic sources of peaking power which have been developed in many other parts of the Nation.

The Dickey-Lincoln School project would save New England power consumers more than $7 million annually by comparison with costs of currently planned alternative new sources of power supply in the area. In comparison with present average costs for equivalent power in New England, the saving would be more than $9 million annually.

The location of the Dickey-Lincoln School project in northern Maine and in relatively close relation to load centers and transmission networks in neighboring Canadian Provinces, could provide the basis for important mutual gains by Canada and the United States. The further strengthening of the interconnections between our two countries, permitting the appropriate exchange of available capacity and energy and mutual support under emergency conditions, could be a significant extension in the program of international cooperation which has aided so much in the mutual improvement of our electric energy resources.

While power developments will make significant contributions to the economic well-being of the New England region, comprehensive planning for the multiple use of the natural resources of the region should also be pursued to provide for a balanced program of regional economic development.

I am requesting that the Federal agencies, working in full cooperation with State and regional planning groups, continue and accelerate the preparation of an overall plan for the development of the region's resources. Particular attention will be given to the historic sites and values in New England which form such an important part of our national heritage, including any recommendations the Roosevelt Park Commission may make to the United States and Canadian Governments for a more extensive program of development of President Franklin Roosevelt's summer home on Campobello Island.

I am confident that this program for the development of the resources of the New England areas will make a major contribution to the region, the Nation, and indeed--looking ahead to the future--to the well-being of the people of Canada as well. I commend this report to the Congress for its consideration.



Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Hubert H. Humphrey, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable John W. McCormack, Speaker of the House of Representatives. A portion of the letter was made public as a White House release.

The report is printed in House Document 236 (89th Cong., 1st sess.).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Transmitting a Report on the Development of the Passamaquoddy-St. John River Basin Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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