Under the Pine Tree Power proposal to take over our two largest electric utilities in the state, in 10 years we could very well end up billions and billions 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 two examples in the entire United States that run their utility this way (both disasters, by the way).

But even if they can find a different company who 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, same wires, same poles, same equipment. The only difference, besides a new name and more political commercials every two years, will be over $10 billion in debt, plus interest, for all of us to pay off. Pine Tree Power is nothing but a big waste of money!

Derek Willette

(The writer is a CMP employee at the Fairfield Service Center.)

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