On Thursday, over 90 people testified on L.D. 1708, a bill that would establish a locally run, nonprofit consumer-owned utility to deliver electricity to Maine homes and businesses. Seventy-eight people testified in support of the bill.

Clearly, Maine needs an electric utility that prioritizes service to Maine people, not profits. Clearly, we need an electric utility that can access the lowest-cost capital to upgrade the grid and prepare us for increased renewable electricity. Clearly, we need an electric utility that would enthusiastically embrace and invest in Maine’s climate goals. Clearly, we need better reliability and customer service from our electric utility than we have now.

Local ownership of our electric utility would change the incentives from profit to the people. With a nonprofit board made up of local, accessible board members, we can be assured of better accountability with a consumer-owned utility.

L.D. 1708 enables a citizen referendum on whether to establish Pine Tree Power, a consumer-owned utility for Maine. But the bill first has to pass in the Legislature in order to authorize the voter referendum. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support L.D. 1708, so voters can weigh in on how our electricity is delivered.

Susan B. Inches
North Yarmouth

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