Proposed utility takeover would create a brand new set of high-stakes Maine elections

AUGUSTA, Maine — One of many many threads working via the talk over whether or not Maine ought to create a consumer-owned electrical utility is the political nature of electing board members to supervise a brand new Pine Tree Energy Co.

In a state with comparatively few regional workplaces, the seven regionally elected members would appoint six specialists. These 13 individuals would run the brand new electrical utility below Query 3 on this November’s poll. It might be a novel political drive with excessive visibility and massive choices to make relating to prices and reliability.

Pine Tree Energy supporters have argued a public utility and its elected board would solely reply to Mainers, quite than the buyers and foreign-owned dad and mom behind Central Maine Energy Co. and Versant Energy. The utilities’ multi-million greenback marketing campaign argues it’s going to politicize the grid and ship outdoors cash into the state each few years for elections.