There is a current effort to replace Central Maine Power, or rather Avangrid and Enmax, as our provider of electricity in Maine. As many know, or don’t know, CMP manages the delivery of the electricity by maintaining the power lines, utility poles and the transfer stations. They do not produce electricity. Avangrid and Enmax provide the electricity that we use in our homes and businesses.

The effort by this group called Pine Tree Power is to buy out the owners of CMP and create a publicly owned and operated power provider. In plain speak, a government-operated organization.

As I have pondered this initiative for months now, I have tried to see the value in another government-run organization in this state. Would they provide better service? Will the cost of electricity go down? Are there qualified and experienced people ready to take over and run the organization?

I thought of the cost for the state to purchase it. There are different numbers out there, but from what I have seen it would be $11-$13 billion. I suppose the state is ready to write a check for that. How will the state pay for it and how many years will we, the taxpayers, pay for it through increased taxes? Also, since CMP is a private company that is not willing to sell, how many years will this play out in court as the state tries to forcibly purchase a company not for sale? CMP has already said it will fight it, so more taxes for the state to cover the court fees.

The cost of electricity is going up, mostly from Maine’s own policy to subsidize the new solar farms that have gone up across the state. We are now paying higher rates for solar power that many of us don’t want but are forced to pay for. If I wanted solar panels, I would add them to my home. Now I am forced to pay higher rates to subsidize an industry that cannot survive without government funding.

If the sale does go through, how can we guarantee the company will be run efficiently? I had to look at other organizations and compare. Take the Department of Motor Vehicles. No, I am not disrespecting the personnel who work behind the counter every day. They try to do the job as best they can within a structure of red tape, regulations and a multitude of policies. The last time I had to visit the DMV, I was there to obtain a decal for my license plate. As a veteran, I am authorized to place a decal reflective of my service on the plate. I didn’t need a new license, I didn’t need a driver’s test or eye test, I didn’t need new plates. I was in line for three hours to have a teller take a cursory three-second look at my documents, hand me the decal and say, “Have a great day.” Government efficiency.

Let’s look at another state government-run organization: the Department of Health and Human Services. This organization has failed in child protection services over the years. This is a government-run organization that is supposed to be looking out for its citizens, our most precious citizens. Not only has nothing been done to fix the problems, but no one has been fired over it.

Are you ready to turn over the operation of our power supply and service to political hacks and politicians? How many government boards are run by politicians with no experience? Are you really going to believe that if we just give them a little more control, things will be better? Do Maine people really think the state can do better?

Michael Buhelt is a resident of Gray.

Comments are not available on this story.