The Legislature needs to see through the smokescreen of the governor’s L.D. 1959, which, in theory, will hold Central Maine Power and Versant Power accountable for their many years of worst-in-the-nation performance.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In a just world, CMP and Versant would have already had their monopoly franchises revoked and been sold to competent management or, preferably, converted into a consumer-owned utility, like the legislation that passed the Legislature last year on a bipartisan basis, only to be vetoed by our governor.

L.D. 1959 purports to have the Maine Public Utilities Commission hold CMP and Versant accountable for their poor performance. Why would anyone have any confidence the PUC would ever do that? L.D. 1959 gives the PUC no new powers, and they haven’t used the powers they have.

While they did slap CMP with a small penalty for their recent billing system screwup, the PUC recently stopped that penalty. The reason given was CMP’s alleged improved performance. Data from the US Energy Information Administration and J.D. Power show no such improvement. And the Maine Public Advocate recently indicated that CMP’s performance has gone down in three of four areas monitored.

Do not trust L.D. 1959. Trust, instead, the petition drive to put on the 2023 ballot the creation of Pine Tree Power, a consumer-owned utility that would work for Mainers and keep the money we pay in Maine. It would lower rates from day one and save Mainers $9 billion over 30 years.

Bill Dunn
Yarmouth

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