Central Maine Power utility lines are seen, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021, in Pownal. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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Vital to our economy and daily lives, Maine’s electric grid is mostly controlled by two out-of-state corporations: Central Maine Power is owned by Avangrid, a subsidiary of Spanish conglomerate Iberdrola, while Versant is owned by the city of Calgary, Canada.

In my opinion, both corporations pursue their own interests, making decisions based on maximizing profits, not giving Maine great service. We pay more and get less.

The Pine Tree Power referendum will be on our state’s ballots in November 2023. Passage would pledge Maine to replace both companies with a local nonprofit consumer-owned utility, so that we’d have more of a say in how our grid is managed. Some Mainers already enjoy this more democratic situation while saving money and suffering fewer outages, as customers of consumer-owned Kennebunk Light and Power well know.

Pine Tree Power would accelerate Maine’s transition to renewables by prioritizing new interconnections and necessary grid upgrades. A consumer-owned utility would set our electric rates based on the needs of actually operating and maintaining the grid, without consideration of how much money can be extracted to maximize the profit to foreign owners.

Maine needs to control our grid. It’s far too important to let foreign corporations call the shots. We can support the Pine Tree Power referendum next November. For more information, visit https://ourpowermaine.org.

Steve Benson