Maine’s governor has reservations about buyout of utilities

Source: By Associated Press • Posted: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Maine Gov. Janet Mills said Wednesday she has reservations about a proposal to replace the state’s two biggest power companies with a consumer-owned electric utility.

Mills, a Democrat, told Maine Public that the bill presents “a rosy solution to a very complicated series of problems.”

The proposal by Democratic Rep. Seth Berry would create an independent nonprofit organization called Pine Tree Power Company to replace Central Maine Power and Versant. The Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee voted 9-2 in favor of the proposal on Tuesday.

Mills has a variety of concerns including the makeup and required expertise of the public utility’s governing board.

“I think the Legislature needs to understand what they’re voting on and answer these questions that I’ve posed” to ensure lawmakers know what they’re getting into, she said.

The full Legislature has yet to take up the proposal. A Mills veto would would require a two-thirds vote in both chambers to override.