Last year, Gov. Mills said the Pine Tree Power citizen-initiated ballot measure you’ll see this November is a forced buyout of CMP and Versant that will cost more than the entire two-year state budget and “presents an overly rosy solution to a complicated problem that, if implemented, would create more problems than it solves.” I’m a lifelong Democrat who believes government can and should find solutions to serve Maine constituents, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out how spending over twice our annual budget on an experiment makes any sense.

We should be familiar by now with the unintended consequences of far-reaching referendum questions. Right now, we have a lot to lose with such a gamble. Maine’s renewable energy production is expanding at record pace, and we are on track to meet ambitious clean energy goals, but only if we stay focused. We have a precious, small window to complete this energy revolution.

So what exactly could Pine Tree Power and its brand new elected board do differently that would offset all the uncertainty of this takeover plan? Unclear at best. Pine Tree Power is not the solution.

James Betts

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