When entering an antique store, the owner will state, “If you break it, you own it.” So, if we break Central Maine Power, we own Pine Tree Power. What will owning PTP mean to most Mainers? According to Heather Martin’s opinion piece (“Consumer-owned utility would be powerful improvement,” July 26), PTP “will be a not-for-profit electric utility … governed by a board we choose … and focused on … clean energy independence, lower costs, better reliability and improved internet.”

Martin began her piece by venting her frustrations over “an astronomical leap in cost” of her CMP bill and “the power went out. Again.” These two basic concerns are some personal reasons for the establishment of PTP. However, where are the guarantees for “lower costs” and no power outages if we own PTP? An old adage states “there are only two guarantees in life – death and taxes.” For ordinary Mainers, therefore, what future assurances/guarantees can PTP make to reducing electricity costs and eliminating power outages?

Common sense dictates that neither CMP nor PTP can issue such future guarantees. Why? Can CMP or PTP anticipate the future cost of fuel, employee salaries, new legislation, purchasing/maintaining equipment, etc.? Can CMP or PTP predict the most significant factor influencing future costs – the effects of climate change and global warming on Maine? In the next few decades, we will/may experience higher temperatures, drought, increased/decreased rainfall, enhanced/reduced snowfall, severe flooding, severe winds, hurricanes and more. These aforementioned factors will all have a significant influence on the provision of electrical power and the occurrence of power outages, and their respective costs.

So, Maine citizens should demand a “plan of action” by PTP, which addresses these many concerns and specifically guarantees lower costs before we break CMP and own PTP. If no plan, why own PTP?

John M. Mishler

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