I see a lot of people comparing Pine Tree Power with other consumer-owned utilities across the state. To me, that’s like comparing one wild Maine blueberry to the largest pumpkin at the Skowhegan Fair.

The smallest consumer-owned utility has just over a hundred customers, while the largest has fewer than 13,000. Central Maine Power and Versant serve more than 800,000 customers and about 95% of the state’s electricity load. Most of the small COUs don’t even have long distance transmission lines. Thankfully, CMP and Versant both do.

The COUs don’t have to charge for net energy billing and other initiatives that the Legislature mandates. They’re also allowed to generate their own electricity, and many do. State law forbids CMP and Versant from owning electric generation.

I can only imagine what it would cost for any of these COUs to scale up to the size and scope of CMP and Versant. I wonder if they’d need to borrow billions and billions of dollars, too.

We know that’s how much the state would need to pay for Pine Tree Power. In return, we would get mountains of debt and higher electric rates for at least 10 years.

Count me as a “no” vote on Question 3.

Susan Clary, Livermore Falls

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