The people of Maine deserve to have their own nonprofit electric utility company, like the people of Sacramento, California, do with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, which serves 1.5 million people.

When I returned home from living in the Sacramento area for many years, frankly, I was surprised that Maine did not have more nonprofit public utilities, considering the way most Mainers celebrate local control and sustainability. During the recent spate of fires in Northern California, only Pacific Gas & Electric was forced to turn off service (because instead of doing upkeep and repair work, they have paid out huge executive bonuses over the years), but the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, because they had kept up with repairs, did not have to cut off power.

While we in Maine will hopefully never see the horrible firestorms that Northern California will continue to face, many environmental groups are warning that the Spanish-owned utility will severely damage much of Maine’s woodlands with a transmission corridor to bring electricity from Canada to Massachusetts. They say the corridor won’t reduce global greenhouse-gas emissions or create sustainable jobs for Mainers.

These are just two reasons I applaud the work of Seth Berry, Bowdoinham-area state representative, in leaving Central Maine Power behind and creating the Maine Power Authority, a consumer-owned utility, which will better serve Mainers and will create sustainable jobs.

Ann Tracy


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