The effort to replace Maine’s two investor-owned utility corporations with a consumer-owned utility goes back several years to 2018. Various experts and stakeholders weighed in and after significant vetting and revision, a bipartisan bill (LD 1708) passed the Maine Legislature in a historic vote in June 2021. Governor Janet Mills vetoed LD 1708 in July 2021, citing conceptual support but specific concerns.

Maine Power for Maine People coalition formed January 2019 LD 1646 announced
Winter 2019 Meetings with utility finance, management, labor and consumer experts
May 2019Public Hearing on LD 1646 (98 testified)
June 2019—Feb. 2020 Independent Feasibility Analysis by London Economics International
March 2020 Work in State House on LD 1646 put on hold due to pandemic
MP4MP becomes Our Power; 40+ member organizations March—August 2020 Peer reviews of LEI Report by Dr. Rich Silkman and CMP’s Consultant
August 2020—May 2021 Improved proposal designed, based on above studies and testimony
Aug 2020—Feb 2021 Improved proposal designed, based on above studies and testimony
May 2021 Public Hearing on LD 1708 (168 testified)
June 2021 Majority of Maine House and Senate both vote to enact LD 1708
July 2021 Governor vetoes LD 1708; Legislature unable to muster 2/3 override
Aug—Sept 2021 Our Power and advisors refine LD 1708 and submit as a ballot question
Nov 2021—Oct 2022 81,500 signatures from almost every Maine town collected on Our Power ballot question by volunteers across the state, qualifying it for the November 2023 ballot
Early 2023 131st Legislature holds hearing, likely sends question to the voters
November 2023 Statewide vote on Our Power ballot question: Do you want to replace CMP and Versant with the Pine Tree Power Company?
if ratified by voters, then:
PUC oversees transition; reviews and approves contracts; regulates Pine Tree Power Company January 2024 Candidates for board declare in nonpartisan elections process
Winter—Spring 2024 131st Legislature & Governor may adjust enabling legislation, if needed
November 2024 Board elections
January 2025 Board meets, adopts bylaws and selects additional expert members
Winter 2025—Spring 2026 132nd Legislature & Governor may adjust enabling legislation, if needed
Spring 2025 to Spring 2026 Board hires staff and consultants; due diligence, business plan
Spring 2026* Board secures financing; makes initial offer for assets
Summer 2026* Refereed process to decide exact price
Winter-Spring 2027 133rd Legislature & Governor may adjust enabling legislation, if needed
Winter 2027* Board hires private operations company by competive bid
Spring-Summer 2027* PUC reviews operations contract
Fall 2027* Pine Tree Power Co becomes owner, rates drop ~10-15%, private operations co begins work, using the same workers as now
*Or later if board votes to postpone initial offer.

Our Power has since refined the language further and is now taking the proposal directly to the voters as a Citizen Initiative. We’re gathering signatures now to put the measure on the ballot. Please join us!