Letter to the Editor: Maine’s Utilities Need Tight Regulation, Not Political Control
My husband, Karl, and I have been in the business for many years; Karl was also a senator for the state of Maine for eight years. We are very concerned about the proposed acquisition of Central Maine Power and Versant by the State.
Well beyond the likely purchase price of $ 13 billion, our power grid and transmission lines need significant investment over the next few years to reduce our use of fossil fuels and provide us with universal broadband internet. . This will require long-term, policy-free planning and constant access to significant additional financial resources.
Our political process does not allow for good long-term planning, and a business that provides absolutely essential services to 1.3 million people should not be subject to political control. Instead, it should be subject to rigorous regulation. If our politicians do not master the regulation of CPM, how are they going to manage it?
As others have said, there are no other state-owned or municipal utilities of this size. We know that the backgrounds of some of the greats have been miserable (think Puerto Rico).
Right now, our total state bond is $ 5 billion, a fraction of that price. What other needs could this purchase crowd out? How would we find the resources to invest more in our electricity system?
Rather than imposing this extraordinary burden on our citizens, our legislature should ensure that good bylaws and a strong oversight board are in place.
Susannah Swihart and Karl Turner
Letter to the Editor: Consumer-owned Maine utility