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

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Under the Pine Tree Power proposal to take over Maine’s two largest electric utilities, in 10 years we could end up billions of dollars in the hole to get the same people to run the same lines, but under a new company name, plus we’ll have politicians in charge.

If Pine Tree Power passes, a board run by politicians will take over the assets of Central Maine Power and Versant and then they will have to find a new company to run the operations. This is a bizarre arrangement, which is why there are only a few examples in the entire United States that run their utility this way (with some disastrous results, by the way). Even if they can find a different company that wants this risky contract, I imagine a lot of us workers will be offered jobs with the new company so we’ll all be the same workforce. The wires, poles and equipment will all be the same, too. So all that will have changed is that we taxpayers in Maine will have paid over $10 billion to “own” these assets. Not because they’ll be any better than what we have now. Just because that’s how much it’ll cost us to forcibly buy them from CMP and Versant.

So same people, wires, poles, and equipment. The only difference, besides a new name and more political commercials every two years, is over $10 billion in debt for all of us to pay. What a waste!

Derek Willette

CMP employee

Fairfield Service Center

Sidney