As a young person, born and raised in Maine, I care deeply about this state and its future. Companies like Central Maine Power and Versant, Maine’s major electricity providers, do not. Their decisions impact the lives of Mainers in many ways, but these decisions are motivated first by profit and are not necessarily in the best interests of Maine residents. These foreign-owned companies charge high prices for electricity and are slow to respond to power outages.

Also, despite their claims to support renewable energy, CMP and Versant have done little to suggest that they truly care about the future of the planet. Climate change is a threat to the future of my generation. One of the most important steps that Maine needs to take in response to climate change is transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy, and it is not likely that the current electricity providers will make this change in time. That is why it is so important for the Legislature, when it meets Wednesday, to pass L.D. 1708, An Act to Create the Pine Tree Power Company, a privately run, nonprofit, consumer-owned utility.

The first six communities in the United States to make the transition to 100 percent renewable energy did so through consumer-owned utilities. The Pine Tree Power Co. would help Maine make this transition as well. Because the Pine Tree Power Co. would have an elected board, it would put the interests of Mainers ahead of profit, and would give Maine residents a say over our energy future.

Audrey Hufnagel

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