To the Editor:

State government does not have the capacity to operate Maine’s entire electric grid and, just as important, does not have the ability to take care of it. The Pine Tree Power referendum, if passed, will place those responsibilities directly onto a new state governmental authority.

Do we really think it will be possible for the state to make the necessary improvements and repairs to keep electricity flowing through thousands of miles of power lines across Maine? Living in a heavily wooded area, I don’t put much stock in that happening. The state struggles enough to maintain our roads. Will it really do a better job delivering our electricity?

It’s troubling that the people making decisions about Pine Tree Power will be elected to its board. I served in the Maine Legislature and respect citizens who hold public office. But when it comes to an electric utility, we need trained experts with the skills and knowledge to make sure everything operates safely and properly.

Pine Tree Power also forces the state to take over privately owned businesses, quite possibly costing us more than $10 billion. Setting a precedent like this could discourage businesses from coming to Maine. We’d be much better off encouraging free enterprise and welcoming new jobs.

These are my reasons for standing with 80 other former legislators, who despite having different political affiliations, all oppose Pine Tree Power. Join us this fall in voting “No” on the referendum.

Betty Frederic


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