Maine Chapter Of Sierra Club Backs Public Power Effort In The State

November 4, 2021

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
November 4, 2021

The Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club has endorsed Our Power’s effort to create a statewide, consumer-owned utility.

A 2022 ballot referendum would create the Pine Tree Power Company, a locally-owned, not-for-profit electric utility for parts of Maine currently served by Central Maine Power (CMP) and Versant.

Our Power is a coalition of ratepayers, businesses, energy experts, conservationists, community members, and dozens of grassroots organizations coming together for lower rates and a more reliable, cleaner grid.

The Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club noted that the Pine Tree Power Company would be governed by a publicly chosen board and focused on meeting goals for clean energy independence, lower costs and increased reliability.

The environmental group also noted that consumer-owned utilities are leaders in reducing carbon emissions and combating climate change.

Our Power is recruiting volunteers to gather signatures to put the Pine Tree Power proposal on the ballot. The goal is 80,000 signatures by January.

In related news, Our Power said that on Nov. 2 it fanned out across the state with over 200 volunteers collecting signatures at hundreds of polling locations.

Campaign manager Stephanie Clifford said, “Our signature collecting results exceeded expectations.”

Maine Rep. Seth Berry, who sponsored legislation that called for the creation of Pine Tree Power, discussed the legislation in a recent episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills over the summer vetoed the bill.

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