Bicyclists, motorists should drive defensively at Brunswick Landing

I often ride my bicycle on the Brunswick Landing grounds and I usually see cars and trucks breeze through the stop signs as if they were not there. In one hour of riding I will see two vehicles zip past the signs without any reduction in speed. I have no idea what can be done about this, but all Brunswick Landing motorists and bike riders should take heed and drive defensively.

Steven Mickiewicz,
Brunswick

Consumer-owned utility will let Mainers take control

Passage of LD 1708, creating Pine Tree Power, a consumer-owned utility, will give Maine voters the chance to replace our poorly performing investor-owned utilities, assuming Gov. Mills shuns a misguided veto. This is a watershed moment for improving customer service and achieving Maine’s climate goals of “decarbonizing” the electrical grid and beneficially electrifying our economy.

Opponents of LD 1708 have broadcast a great deal of misinformation about a consumer-owned utility. Here, I take on just one pair of false assertions by right wing Sen. Trey Stewart (R-Presque Isle), as quoted in the TR (June 17, 2021). Stewart claims that, “This is nothing more than a socialist takeover of privately owned companies.” Two crucial counter facts:

First, socialism implies state ownership and control of the means of production. Pine Tree Power establishes CONSUMER ownership, with governance by a ratepayer-elected board. This is economic democracy at work!

Second, Versant and Central Maine Power, Maine’s current poorly performing monopolies , are not “privately owned”. Versant, in particular, is wholly owned by the City of Calgary, Canada – that is socialism for sure, but completely out of Mainers’ control. CMP’s parent owner, Iberdrola, is a giant multinational corporation whose largest shareholders also include foreign governments – Spain and Quatar.

Pine Tree Power will enable us – Maine’s ratepayers – to take control of our electricity supply and our energy future.

David Vail,
Brunswick

Ethyl levulinate critical to fight climate change, Maine economy

I support of LD 1637 “An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue To Provide Funds for Maine To Meet the State’s Carbon Reduction Goals by Supporting the Use of Biofuels”. Ethyl levulinate (EL) is a critical resource for combating climate change and will become a significant part of Maine’s economy. We need this carbon-neutral liquid fuel. Heating oil is the dominant home heating fuel in rural Maine, and the furnaces are a huge asset. EL is a direct replacement for heating oil that would use the same furnaces.

Electricity is not a viable heating oil replacement for home heating in Maine. Heat pumps alone do not provide adequate residential heating on cold days and the electrical grid does not have the capacity, and will not have the capacity in the next 20 years, to run heat pumps for the entire state.

EL will be great for Maine’s economy. EL is produced from wood and paper waste, which is abundant in Maine. Maine can become a major manufacturer of EL, which would provide jobs in the woods and processing facilities. The existing oil delivery companies would deliver the EL and maintain the furnaces. Gould Equipment Company in Bangor builds and services oil delivery trucks for the oil delivery companies.

EL is a huge opportunity of Maine. We need the state’s help to move EL forward. Please pass this bond issue.

Tom Schwarm,
Freeport,
President, Gould Equipment Company

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