A plan to replace Maine’s two remaining investor-owned utility corporations with a consumer-owned utility goes back several years to 2018. Various experts and stakeholders weighed in and after two years of vetting and revision a bipartisan bill (LD 1708) passed the Maine Legislature in a historic vote in June 2021.

Maine Power for Maine People coalition formedJune 2018 – Dec 2018Rep. Berry initiates planning and research; consults with utility finance, management, labor and consumer experts
January 2019LD 1646 announced with support of labor, businesses,
consumers
May 2019Public Hearing on LD 1646 (98 testified; overwhelming
support)
Jun 2019 – Feb 2020Independent consultant LEI, selected by Maine PUC, finds LD 1646 to be fully constitutional and likely to save ratepayers money
Mar 2020 – Jun 2020Peer review of LEI Report by Dr. Rich Silkman finds additional likely savings to ratepayers: $9 billion over 30 years
June 2020 – Sep 2020Governor indicates possible support for more study but unsupportive of LD 1646 or partial steps; LD 1646 dies without a vote due to pandemic
OUR POWER replaces MP4MP; grows to 35+ member organizationsNovember 2020130th Maine Legislature elected
Aug 2020 – Feb 2021Improved proposal designed, based on above studies and testimony
April 2021Improved proposal designed, based on above studies and testimony
May 2021Public Hearing on LD 1708 (168 testified; overwhelming support)
June 2021Bipartisan majorities in Maine House and Senate vote to enact LD 1708 — an historic achievement unparalleled in U.S. since Nebraska, 1933
July 2021Governor vetoes LD 1708; 2/3 override unsuccessful; LD 1708 dies
Oct 2021 – Dec 2021Phase Two, as planned: Our Power volunteers and coalition prepare to gather 75k+ signatures
November 2022Vote on ballot question by all Maine voters

Despite the bill’s overwhelming public support and the prospect of saving ratepayers billions while making Maine a climate leader, Governor Janet Mills vetoed LD 1708 on July 13. While disappointing, the Governor’s veto was not unexpected–and it was a clear call to action. Our Power will take the proposal passed by the Legislature directly to the voters as a Citizen Initiative.

We’re gearing up now to begin gathering signatures to put the measure on the ballot. Please join us!