letter to the editor

Thank you, PUC

Mon, 08/05/2019 - 3:00pm

Dear Editor:

The Public Utilities Commission of Maine is to be applauded for holding three public hearings so citizens could voice their concerns and complaints regarding the running of Central Maine Power. The PUC and their staff not only provided a commendable public service by doing so, they also displayed courtesy and patience during the proceedings. Folks were also given the opportunity to submit testimony via maine.gov/mpuc

I was one of several hundred people who appeared in person to state my case. My case seemed trivial in comparison to some whose sufferings at the hands of CMP could best be described as horrific. And yet I hope my appearance might prove to be one more nail in the case against this utility.

Normally my bills have averaged around $125 prior to 2017. Needless to say, I was shocked to see when my electric bill jump to over $500 for one month. I have been trying to straighten this out since January of this year, but so far have been unable to do so. Now Electricity Maine has sent me a letter saying that I owe them $521.18 which must be paid within 30 days, or else.

CMP has asked the PUC for permission to raise its rates by 10.65%. Testifiers overwhelming requested that they not be allowed to do so. An even better solution would be to create a utility system owned by the people of Maine, perhaps something along the lines of what Rep. Seth Berry has proposed. This is would keep Maine money in Maine.

In addition, CMP should not be allowed to cut through our great north woods to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec to Massachusetts, especially as no environmental assessment was allowed to be made. Dams and reservoirs have been proven to be an important contributor to climate change. FMI, see https://waterkeeper.org/hydropower-is-not-clean-energy/

This project would involve 145 miles of transmission lines, 53 of which would be new lines cut through undeveloped forests in our great north woods, harming brook trout, deer, other wildlife, and the tourism economy as detailed on the Natural Resources Council of Maine website: https://www.nrcm.org/projects/climate/proposed-cmp-transmission-line-bad-deal-maine/ Is this line a done deal? It shouldn’t be.

Susan van Alsenoy