Recently (Our View, April 10), the Maine Sunday Telegram’s editorial board endorsed a proposal in the Legislature that would add a new layer of bureaucracy to the way our electric grid is managed, maintained and improved. The editors got one thing right: We must move quickly to address climate change and electrify our economy – but they got just about everything else wrong.

The proposal in question would take the planning process away from the people who built the grid and maintain it 24/7, 365 days a year, and put it in the hands of hired consultants. This new layer of bureaucracy also comes with a cost – it would increase the government fees portion of our electric bills by 25 percent. And it comes from some legislators whose ultimate objective is to seize the state’s utilities and turn them into a government-run power company, controlled by elected politicians.

If our goal really is more renewable energy, addressing climate change, and keeping control of costs – does anyone think that adding a bunch of consultants and elected politicians to the mix, and putting them in charge of designing and running our grid, is the quickest way to get there?

It’s not as though the utilities can or should operate with no oversight or guidance. In fact, everyone has a role to play in the way our electric system is managed. The Legislature should set policy goals that can enable and guide the Public Utilities Commission to do its work to regulate the utilities. But utilities do what they do best: Plan, operate and manage the grid.

Tony Sapienza
business manager, IBEW Local 1837 Maine-New Hampshire

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