Bipartisan group cites costs and political control of grid as concerns
May 4, 2023
For immediate release
Contact: Willy Ritch 207-841-8400 | [email protected]
During testimony before a Legislative Committee this afternoon, former Representative Betty Ann Fredric read a bipartisan letter signed by 81 former Legislators opposing the Pine Tree Power proposal to seize CMP and Versant and create a governmental power company.
The letter reads, in part, “Although our reasons vary, as do our political affiliations, we firmly believe that the proposed seizure of the state’s privately owned utilities would increase costs and insert partisan politics into the operation of Maine’s electric grid.”
The Legislative hearing today is in advance of a November vote on the Pine Tree Power proposal, which will be on the November ballot. Close to a hundred people packed the hearing room and an overflow room today to show their opposition to Pine Tree Power, many of them wearing “No Pine Tree Power” t-shirts and buttons that read “union strong.”
The Pine Tree Power referendum asks voters if they want to seize the state’s electric utilities to create a governmental power authority that would be run by a board of elected officials. The cost for seizing the utilities is estimated to be $13.5 billion—more than twice the annual state budget. That entire cost would be a debt that ultimately all electric customers of Pine Tree Power would be responsible for.
Full text of the letter and names of the Legislators who signed on can be found here.