Local legislators to talk about replacing CMP, Emera with public utility

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On April 4, three Maine legislators will be in Rockport to talk about the proposal to create a new consumer-owned, non-profit Maine Power Delivery Authority to replace the two existing corporations, Central Maine Power and Emera Maine, that deliver electrical power to Maine. The public is invited to attend.

The Knox County Democratic Committee will host what it is calling a Town Hall Meeting from 6:30 - 8 p.m., Thursday, April 4, at the Rockport Opera House.

The event will feature a presentation by Maine State Representatives Seth Berry, D-Bowdoinham, Victoria Doudera, D-Camden, and State Senator David Miramant, D-Camden.

Rep. Berry is Chair of the Maine Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, of which Rep. Doudera and Sen. Miramant are members.

A proposal for cutting a 145-mile corridor for a transmission line in western Maine that would bring hydropower from Quebec to Massachusetts, plus recent events related to failures by Central Maine Power, make it an opportune time to discuss options for the future of power in Maine, according to a press release from the Knox County democrats.

Rep. Seth Berry is House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.  He is also Vice President of Kennebec River Biosciences, a Maine-owned, for-profit lab working to improve the health and sustainability of aquatic farms and fisheries worldwide. Rep. Berry is serving his eleventh year in the Maine Legislature representing the communities of Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Richmond and Swan Island.

Rep. Doudera is a freshman member of the Maine House of Representatives, representing Camden, Isleboro, and Rockport. She is a realtor and author. Rep. Doudera is Secretary of the Camden Conservation Commission and a member of the Board of Directors and past President of Midcoast Habitat for Humanity.

Sen. Miramant was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2006 and the Maine Senate in 2014. He represents Knox County in the state senate. Sen. Miramant is a former commercial airline pilot and is currently owner and operator of Sprint Soaring Glider Rides in Owls Head.

The Knox County Democratic Committee, headquartered in Thomaston, is a nonprofit that promotes the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party; encourages and maintains participation and unity of enrolled voters and potential candidates in Knox County, Maine; provides leadership to, and coordination with, Municipal Committees, the Maine Democratic State Committee and the Democratic National Committee; and supports the nominees elected in the State Democratic Primary and their election to office. 

The talking points of the proposed action include:

 

Overview of “An Act to Create the Maine Power Delivery Authority and to Reduce Electrical Costs and Outages”

Sponsored by Rep. Seth Berry; not yet printed by Office of the Revisor February 13, 2019

Key Points​:

  • ●  Creates the Maine Power Delivery Authority, a new consumer-owned utility (COU).
  • ●  Maine Power acquires all transmission and distribution assets of CMP and Emera Maine, compensating them fairly.
  • ●  Low-interest revenue bonds, not high-interest shareholder equity, are used to finance the purchase.
  • ●  Rates charged to Maine Power customers are reduced by approximately 15%, and pay back the bonds in full.
  • ●  Maine Power Delivery is not financed by tax dollars in any way.
  • ●  Hundreds of millions of dollars per year stay in Maine, rather than going overseas.
  • ●  With its only fiduciary responsibility being to its customer-owners, Maine Power’s top priorities are lower rates and more reliable service.*
  • Additional Details​:
  • ●  Maine Power is overseen by a nonpartisan, independent, 9-member board not unlike the Maine Turnpike Authority, representing all customer classes (residential to large industrial) and geographic areas, and with staggered terms of office.
  • ●  Maine Power Delivery is subject to Maine Freedom of Access laws, and is open to public involvement in decision-making.
  • ●  Maine Power operates professionally through contracting, using a competitive bid process, with electric industry service providers.
  • ●  Existing Maine COUs such as Kennebunk, Madison, Houlton, and EMEC are unaffected.
  • ●  Revenues to municipalities, such as property taxes, are continued.
  • ●  The jobs and retirement plans of current and past employees are protected.*As of 2017, Maine had the least reliable service in the nation overall, and among the highest power delivery rates.
  • ____________________

Event Date: 

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Address: 

rockport opera house
rockport  Maine
United States