Central Maine Power utility lines are seen, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Pownal, Maine. Rolling blackouts may hit New England if there's an extended cold snap this winter. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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I am writing to ask that legislators support Amendment B to LD 1959 “An Act to Ensure Transmission and Distribution Utility Accountability.”

Amendment B is the only bipartisan, common-sense amendment to LD 1959. It requires a periodic franchise renewal process for Central Maine Power and Versant, with competition for the monopoly privilege, competitive bidding for utility spending to keep rates down, audits of “report card” data submitted by the utilities, strong penalties for a Maine Public Utilities Commission finding of utility misbehavior, improved cost-savings requirements, and a planning process that starts with the commission or a third party rather than with CMP and Versant.

Each vote is critical. Anything less than Amendment B would be weak tea for Mainers in need of strong medicine. I urge people to support the only bipartisan amendment from the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee: Amendment B. At a time when we are seeing doubling of electricity bills in a time of rising inflation, we must have a way to hold CMP and Versant accountable.

Meredith Bruskin