Although I have only been paying electric bills on my own for about five years, I am a lifelong Mainer and strongly believe a transition to consumer-ownership of our electric utility is the best thing for everyone in our state.

Right now, we are forced to pay Central Maine Power or Versant, both investor-owned companies that are a part of larger foreign corporations. Establishing the Pine Tree Power Company would allow us to keep our money in the state. This is crucial for building a stronger economy, centered around justice and equity for all Maine people living today, and for future generations.

I believe this will be a big step in the right direction toward a more cooperative society, which we desperately need to strengthen our households, communities, and this country. We deserve local control of what powers our homes, places of work, and other public and private spaces in the state.

Whether it is for heat, lights, appliances, or other important electronic tools and devices, we rely on electricity every day. With more affordable alternatives to fossil fuels, now is a perfect time to make the switch to consumer ownership and build more reliable infrastructure together. Then we will establish permanent control of our power systems and guarantee affordable electricity and internet access for all Maine people.

We especially need better access to the internet for people in rural communities. This is something that will be also addressed by passing this as law and establishing the Pine Tree Power Company.

Lucas Brown, Norway

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