October 17, 2023
For immediate release
Contact: Willy Ritch 207-841-8400|[email protected]
Today a major environmental group — the Conservation Law Foundation — endorsed a “no” vote on Question 3, the proposal to seize Maine’s privately held utilities to create a state-run utility.
“CLF identified many of the same issues that voters across the state are concerned with: the enormous cost of seizing the utilities, years of likely litigation and introducing a new lawyer of politics by creating more elected offices for the people who would run Pine Tree Power,” said Willy Ritch, executive director of the Maine Affordable Energy Coalition. “These are the same problems the governor has identified, they are the same problems we’ve been talking about for months and they are the same problems we’ve heard people all over the state bring up.”
- Our energy decisions in the next decade will directly affect our ability to cut climate-damaging emissions as mandated by Maine law. Those decisions must include investing significantly in clean energy resources and new transmission pathways. But if Question 3 passes, Pine Tree Power will get caught up in litigation for five to ten years. We cannot afford to lose a critical window of opportunity and investment in Maine’s clean energy future while lawsuits wend their way through the courts.
- Even without protracted litigation, the costs of transitioning to a publicly owned utility may require financial resources that could otherwise be used to fund necessary upgrades to our statewide grid and other electricity infrastructure – upgrades that will improve reliability and resilience in the face of increasingly severe climate impacts.
- The elected board that would govern Pine Tree Power will introduce another layer of politics into the operation and management of our electrical grid. That could mire critical decisions related to clean energy in partisan political maneuvering.