Maine says no to Pine Tree Power

The following LTE appeared in the Piscataquis Observer

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On November 7th, Mainers were adamant in declaring we don’t want to go billions of dollars into debt so the government and politicians can take over our electric utilities. Just look at the results in my town, 753 no to 206 yes, where 78 percent said no way to Pine Tree Power.

We weren’t alone. Voters all across the state opposed this unsound idea. Even the more liberal voters in Portland didn’t embrace it! That was a surprise to me. Around 170 votes separated the two sides. If you can’t sell a government takeover there, where can you?

As a member of the Legislature’s Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, I was present for much of the debate and discussion since the issue was first brought to the legislature nearly 6 years ago. It became clear that this effort, while perhaps well intentioned, was not well planned or thought out. Passage would not have addressed the increasing cost of electricity, as it was directed only at who owned and operated the transmission system.

Additionally, the feedback I received from many of you as our electricity rates rose was we need to find a way to slow down these increases. Adding debt and government bureaucracy is not the solution. I’ll be working on that issue again during the upcoming session.

Hopefully, Pine Tree Power’s campaign got your message. In case they didn’t, they should take a quick look at the breakdown of votes in practically every city and town to see what Maine’s citizens had to say.

Thank you,

Representative Steve Foster, Dexter

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