Central Maine Power, one of Maine’s for-profit energy utilities, has promoted many reasons for rate hikes, but none are unique to their service area. Indeed, Maine’s consumer-owned utilities are subject to the same market conditions, yet provide power at a lower cost. The increase in CMP storm expenses helps shed more light on its exorbitant rates.CMP “throws all resources” into recovery from storms, though these costs are hidden in our bills for years after they are incurred. Emergency line crews and their support staff from out of state, as they often are, are costlier to employ than routine staff who live and work locally. By maintaining minimal day-to-day crews and pushing all possible costs to storm recovery, CMP can maximize the profits it delivers to shareholders and avoid investments that minimize damage from extreme weather.The investments that are needed – like more and better jobs for local line workers and staff, and protected infrastructure – would benefit Maine communities. Like any good investment, they would also save Mainers money. Wise long-term investments will not be made by CMP, which answers first to shareholders.

CMP should be replaced by a consumer-owned utility that will look out for Mainers’ best interests. Voting for Pine Tree Power this November will bring our grid back to local control so we can be safer and better prepared and keep more money in our pockets.

Michael Burrows

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