My husband, Karl, and I have worked in business for many years; Karl was also a Maine state senator for eight years. We are very concerned about the proposed acquisition of Central Maine Power and Versant by the state.

Way beyond the likely $13 billion purchase price, our electric grid and transmission lines need great investment over the coming years to reduce our use of fossil fuels and to give us universal high-speed internet. This will require long-term planning free from politics and steady access to major additional financial resources.

Our political process does not enable good long-term planning, and a business that provides absolutely essential services to 1.3 million people should not be subject to political oversight. Instead, it should be subject to rigorous regulation. If our politicians have not mastered regulating CMP, how are they going to do a good job running it?

As others have said, there are no other state- or municipal-owned utilities of this size. We know that the track record of some of the largest ones has been miserable (think Puerto Rico).

Right now our total state bonding is $5 billion, a fraction of this price. What other needs might this purchase crowd out? How would we ever find the resources to invest further in our electric system?

Rather than foisting this extraordinary burden on our citizens, our Legislature should work to ensure that good regulations and a strong oversight board are in place.

Susannah Swihart and Karl Turner

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