Maine voters are faced with a huge decision this fall: the proposed Pine Tree Power referendum.

If passed in November, Maine electric customers would be on the hook for the billions of dollars that would have to be paid to the owners of Central Maine Power and Versant for the seizure of all their property in Maine.

For 35 years I served the people of Maine in the Maine House, and two Maine governors and President Obama as the federal highway administrator. I have always believed that government can be a solution to many of our state’s challenges, and electric power is clearly a key factor in our efforts to battle climate change in Maine and across the nation.

I do believe that government can be a force for good. I also believe that government can and should provide rigorous regulation over the private sector businesses that produce and distribute our power which is also critical to growing our economy.

Taking on billions in debt and introducing politics into the running of our electric grid carries significant and obvious risks. Also, after years in public service, I can say that there would be more than a few unforeseen complications that go with such a massive and unprecedented undertaking.

When we vote on this question this fall, we are the policymakers; we act as the Legislature and governor all rolled into one.

As a citizen and ratepayer, I’m taking those duties very seriously. I hope that others do, too.

Gregory G. Nadeau, Lewiston

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