Maine’s binary choice: achieve climate action goals or try to create “Consumer Owned Utility”

Well deserved outrage over the abysmal performance and poor customer service of Maine’s two investor-owned utilities (IOUs) has spawned an initiative to replace them with a “consumer owned utility” (COU), called Pine Tree Power. Possibly during the next week the Maine Legislature will vote on LD1708, a bill that puts the acquisition of those IOUs by the State to a public referendum. Pursuit of a COU poses a direct threat to the timely implementation of Maine’s climate action goals as well as modernization of its electricity distribution grid. That this initiative and another to block the construction of a transmission […]

The Clean Energy Corridor Clarified

You have seen the signs and the TV ads literally littering Maine regarding the New England Clean Energy Corridor (NECEC), aka the CMP transmission line from Quebec to just above Lewiston. Some oppose and others support. No doubt when people go to vote in May they will be approached by advocates and opponents of the line. While the following goes into great detail about the Corridor, the bottom line to voters is simply this: building the Corridor requires a tradeoff, the loss of 53 miles of a 115-foot swatch of commercially harvested forest, for at least a 10% reduction in […]

Maine wants to take over its investor owned utilities: a bad idea

The following is testimony offered in opposition to Maine Bill LD 1646 “An Act To Restore Local Ownership and Control of Maine’s Power Delivery Systems.” This bill creates the Maine Power Delivery Authority by acquiring and operating all transmission and distribution systems in the State currently operated by the investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities known as Central Maine Power Company and Emera Maine. Senator Lawrence, Representative Berry, members of the Joint Committee, my name is Gerry Runte. I am a constituent of Senator Lawrence and live in York.  Thank you for the opportunity to testify today in opposition to LD […]