Maine voters reject effort to create the first statewide public power company


Voters in Maine overwhelmingly rejected scuttling the state’s for-profit utilities in favor of a public power company that would have been governed by a board of elected and appointed officials.

The referendum was the nation’s first effort to replace all privately owned utilities with a statewide nonprofit option. The proposed new company, Pine Tree Power, would have bought out the assets of Maine’s two investor-owned utilities, CMP and Versant, using revenue bonds, taking over the distribution of 97 percent of the state’s electricity.

“I came here excited to be working every day on this campaign because I am terrified for my future and I need a utility that is going to be working for me,” Lucy Hochschartner, deputy campaign manager and spokesperson for Our Power, the group behind the ballot initiative, told the Portland Press Herald

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