Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Powering the future of Maine

Should Maine control it's own future? Seth Berry's proposal for a Maine consumer owned utility run by Mainer's and benefiting Maine not Spain has CMP breaking out in a sweat. The mantra they are using is “there is no guarantee that it will work” We hear this over and over as if it has been rehearsed. Well they are right! There are no guarantees but history shows that Private foreign companies owning Maine's power future absolutely does not work! There is not even a glimmer of hope under the current structure.

While we are on the subject though, I would like to ask what guarantee is there that CMP will improve reliability to Maine's customers? What guarantees that Maine will not continue to place last in reliability? What guarantees that CMP will change their ways and become preventive rather than reactive towards power outages? What guarantees that CMP will replace it's old and antiquated infrastructure with a new improved 21st century design? What guarantees that CMP will treat customers with respect and invite their input to improve customer service? What guarantees that CMP's customers will be billed correctly in the future and past bills will be corrected? What guarantees that even one of CMP's promises concerning NECEC will be delivered upon? What guarantees any of the supposed savings to Maine ratepayers? What guarantees the environment won't be damaged? What guarantees the new corridor will be clean? What guarantees there won't be hundreds of ugly wind turbine damaging views along this corridor?

CMP/Iberdola/Avangrid history rather informs us that continued reliance upon their private run grid will bring more of the same havoc. Why should we trust a company that has proven it's lack of concern for Maine customers and interests. The future is bleak with CMP. Time for a change! Mainers want safe, reliable, affordable, clean electricity without destroying the beauty of Maine in the process.

Let's do the hard work of creating a consumer owned utility and look towards a brighter future!

Rev. Darien (Deke) Sawyer

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20 Responses »

  1. Good letter from Jackman.
    I agree.

    The "other" option we have is to FORCE CMP to behave.
    Which apparently is going to require us to FORCE our politicians to represent "US".(for a change).

    HOUND THE LIVING CRAP out of these people until it happens.
    From the Governor on down,,, they need to be reigned in by the people.
    Call them,Email them, go to their office, don't let up.
    Never thought I'd say this but,, be the weirdo with the sign in front of the post office (if that's your thing)... Lol
    Don't back down from the simple minority that is supporting this scam. Be the "not so weird" informed confrontational citizen who is fed up with their arrogant lies.
    Don't be intimidated by these bully punks.
    You know how to handle a bully, right.
    Give em what they deserve...

    Sounds like a good time to me !!

  2. You want to know why CMP electricity is more reliable in some places than it is in others? It's easy if you think about it for a moment, use a little common sense. Current law says that CMP owns the area around their poles equal to but not greater than 15ft, this allows them to trim branches and what not from around the wires, they can't cut trees down, even if they pose a threat to the lines without just compensation to the landowners based on the fair market value of the wood. That is a lot of trees and a lot of money and it makes more sense to CMP to go put the line back together after a tree breaks it than it does to buy a bunch of trees or getting congress to rewrite the law that will allow them to cut the trees back using eminent domain, which the state would be out the money from buying a lot of trees.

  3. Hrtlss,

    Where do you find these facts??? Seriously, where in the world do you find these facts!! I have farmland
    Right here in down town Farmington (fairbanks area) and there are 2 seperate CMP lines criss crossing
    My land. They came in several years ago and did a bunch of work on the largest 3phase lines that run
    North towards New Vineyard and Kingfield area. They cut down some of my trees and left the pieces
    In the woods to rot. I have a wood lot in another town and they did the same thing to some darn nice
    Hardwood trees along the road side. I was never given a dime!!! I was here working around the farm
    When they cut those trees in my back woods. Heck, they help themselves to my gravel access roads to
    Get back to their power lines (they did ask permission to do that). Anyhow, where the heck do i look to
    see those rules you just mentioned?? I'm sure many others may want to know as well.

  4. @ Mike he gets them from the same place CMP gets theirs thin air !!!

    Lucas tree does “preventive maintenance “ and in a storm situation they can cut any tree at the stump they want. They can also trim minimum clearance not during storm situations unless the land owner doesn’t care. I’ve never heard of them having to pay market value for any of the trees cut. The only time someone pays fair market value is in a logging situation and IF they cut over the property line it goes to triple market value.

    The problem I see with this is if the state is in control we will most definitely have more issues than we do now. We all know how government run programs work (V.A. just one example) and it pushes us towards socialism like every democrat candidate running for President now.

  5. Mike, Awww, It's called the Utilities Accommodation Rules, There are different versions, the MDOT has a set for roads, the department of agriculture has a set the EPA has a set. Currently I think Maine has 4 versions of the rules, I have a life and don't have the time to Google them all for you. but that should get you started.

  6. While we are at it lets let the state take over grocery stores. Then they will be able to tell us what we should eat, by not selling unhealthy food.Then how much power we should be using for a family. After all it will be for our own good.
    We don't need government running our lives more than they already do.

  7. Exactly Tony anytime government gets involved it goes to pot.
    Hrtlss I don’t need to google anything I talkto real people and what their job entails. Have a nice day bye bye.

  8. I guess all the people who think government control ruins everything will demand that the Social Security Administration stop their monthly checks, and that Medicare no longer cover them and their families. Both these programs, just for example, are wildly popular and very successful. If you think less government is always good, take a look at Somalia.

  9. I appreciate all I can do with power provided by CMP for an amazingly low cost. Naysayers should pause their whining and really think about life without this utility. However if all you tough talking folks want to affect CMP remove your smart meter and ship it back to them. If it is truly 90% of Maine’s population(haha) against the way CMP does business and all these folks ship these meters to them I promise CMP will do anything they want.

  10. Just to clarify. The proposal is for a Customer Owned Utility not a govt owned one. Maine Turnpike Authority is a good example. By the way there are already 5 COU's in existance in Maine with cheaper rates and twice the reliability of CMP

  11. Capt. Tony, Awe: Hrtless You all demonstrate the power of living with irrational fear. Why would anyone submit free thought to your worst case scenario mentality. I know you all have some legitimate things to say but they are often eclipsed by your one track roundabout thinking. If you think the "Government" is conspiring to control you life then I think you have issues and perhaps are conspiring rebelling against the American Government. See how easy it is to twist your intent here? Every American Citizen, including you, is "the" our Government. Grocery stores? We already have publicly funded food sources so that's just chicken little thinking. We have a capitalist economy and injecting some socialism is merely about preserving cost of living wages and better lives when it comes to basic resources and essential services that everyone needs. Many countries do it and thrive despite what conspiracy theorists like to say. p.s. Conspiracy theorist get paid to convince you their right so you keep watching. Ever notice how easily they spin their web? You can exaggerate and twist what Socialism in a Capitalist society means but it has nothing to do with taking away personal pursuit of private business and industry, only the essential to live services that everyone uses. What did us the people and taxpayer give CMP to "help" their personal smart meter project? Try over 90 Million tax payer funded dollars only to be treated as we were. Overall the Feds gave private utilities companies 8 Billion of our tax dollars to invest smart meters in their PRIVATELY owned business. These companies are publicly funded.

    As for CMP and public ownership.
    The idea of socialism in a capitalist society is to remove competition and unjustified price inflation from essential services that everyone uses and needs. What we have now is a rampant push for unchecked capitalism. Roads, education, law enforcement, Large scale agriculture (just got 16Billion of our tax dollars), Fire departments, and military are just a few examples Socialism in practice today. They cost us, the people who use the service or may need it someday, but it frees us from being blackmailed and threatened by corporate ownership. Look at what happen to healthcare since Nixon changed it from a not for profit system to a private for profit industry. The Doctors and Nurses are still amazing but the system is way too expensive and the drive for maximum profits is pushed on the consumer. CMP is a clear case of why something so essential should be publicly owned. Think about it, Spanish owned company (nothing against Spain) that provides an essential services to Maine is a perfect example of why things like utilities and should not be privately owned. They don;t care or need to answer to individual ME people. No accountability. Once something that's essential and embedded in our infrastructure is privatized it only serves investors not the people it provides services to.

    Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals also need to return to non competitive not for profit status if we want a future. No more Pharma Bro's and outrageously priced insulin for quick shareholder profits.

  12. facts checking
    Utilities accommodation rues are a tidy pdf but what the bastard touts is not in there
    CMP web site ubder tree care says 14 feet to either side 8 feet to either side ( confusing) and 15 feet above the line trees are encroaching on
    You can fill out the form on CMPs website if you want to be notified before they prune but if a hazard they will just do it

    I could find leaving wood chips for the owner Could not find anywhere that they must pay the landowner-would appreciate a reference

  13. @Darien the problem with that is you still pay part of your payment to CMP because they own the lines.

    @Captain Planet try not to sound like hrtlss we can’t pull our meters and send them back and they know this. Besides if you cut the tag they can fine you.

    @ E Bailes I would gladly stop paying s.s. with the money I save I could afford to create a guaranteed retirement for my wife and I.

  14. Sam, If you think the government isn't trying to control everything and essentially us, it might be time to stop drinking the Kool-aid. Right now, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission keeps the prices and the power companies in check. This keeps rates reasonable, if the government ie. congress had sole control over the power they could charge whatever they wanted with zero oversight. And there is no law that says you have to have a CMP meter on your house, just call them up and they'll come get it. The "publicly funded food programs like SNAP for example, has 36 million people enrolled, that is about 11% of our population, and costs $70 billion a year, to put all 325 million people on that program it would cost $6 trillion per year, Government paid tuition $3 trillion, government paid healthcare $12 trillion, electricity $2 trillion, that is $23 trillion per year. the government took in $3.6 trillion last year from all sources, where should we get the other $20 trillion from? Your Everything for everybody all paid by the government form of socialism is an absolute crock and isn't possible even under the best of conditions, just as ask Hitler's Germany, communist Russia, the bread lines were miles long, Venezuela, people were eating their own pets, or North Korea, the average yearly income is 900KPW($1000).

  15. Awww I was obviously being dramatic concerning the shipment of meters, however you can legally shut off your main breaker. If 90% of CMP customers were serious about their ‘grass roots’ movement and did this it would deliver results within days if not hours. Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the company’s service without being a hypocrite.

  16. With everyone on their own filtered page regarding worldly affairs you can see where this is all going: disaster! I really have to stop reading comments because it just makes me more depressed than ever. As far as conspiracies, there really is a worldwide conspiracy afoot for world domination: it's called Agenda 21/ Agenda 2030. Been in effect since 1992 and is being implemented all across the nation under the guise of sustainability and in all our local counties and towns by unelected officials in local COGs (Council of Governments). People really need to do some more homework than just surface research and beyond mainstream media.

  17. HB: Again with the over exaggeration of what I said. I clearly state that only certain things should be paid for with my taxes but under the current system I pay for all kinds of intentional and personal waste that benefits few. As for comparing select Social programs under a capitalist system in a Republic to historical references of Communism, Nationalist Socialism (Nazi were a political party not an economic system) and Populist movements ("Reality pop culture star- currently in office) well... There you go again. I'll just file this under the countless piles of Hrtless Bstard's list of manipulating lies that no one cares about. Tell me again: How much do you stand to personally make if this line is forced on people who have clearly stated they don't want it in their backyard? Also: Ask an Alaskan if they want to give their share of the oil money back to the company because they don't believe in social ownership of State resources.


  18. @ Captain Planet I missed your sarcasm like I have said if it was even a possibility to shut them off I would have never had them on my property but it’s difficult keeping two freezers and a fridge full of food cold without electricity. I don’t find it hypocritical to be against this corridor when we are the ones telling the truth and CMP has spread so many lies it’s ridiculous. Some have said we just want more money out of the deal and that is not true. Some say we are tree huggers which is not true I’m a logger as are many others in opposition. The biggest concern of mine personally is tbe number of people that will lose their jobs if this goes through (many more than the fulltime jobs after construction is done) do we just jack our unemployment back up ? No we need to keep the power producing jobs we have and all connected to it. This is a bad deal for Maine and the people paying taxes out of their paychecks.

  19. Sam, Communism and Socialism are very much a form of government, one where the government provides what it thinks you need, censorship, no owned land, taxes in the 80%, people are complaining about the 13% they do pay. And Ronald Reagan was a popular actor before he become the President that almost single handedly toppled Russian communism without firing a shot. Kind of like what Trump is trying to do right now with North Korea. What a president does in civilian life prior to becoming president has no bearing on what kind of leader they will be. Actually career politicians make the worst presidents. And using the name of the form of government in the name of a political party is nothing new, we live in a republic, our constitution guarantees us a republican form of government, we have a political party called the Republicans. Your Socialist drivel means nothing. And YOU were the one who mentioned public funded food programs, not me, I merely pointed out the cost prohibitive aspect of expanding them to include everyone. You, Bernie and AOC must have taken the same economics class, they want to give away everything to everyone and have no clue how to pay for any of it either.

    I personally have no investment in the line, I do however live just miles from where the new section will be, I know what the added property taxes can do to help Franklin county and the towns contained therein, more so than the tourists who never use that section of woods because it has been a working forest for the past 150 years. And FYI, there is a POS wind farm and associated pole line already there, so does the new line interfere with anything? No it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing special about that piece land, nothing. Now if it ran through a state park or a protected wetland or something, then I would object to it, but it doesn't.

  20. Sam, BTW, the oil kick back is optional and is offered in exchange for the fact that there are no state benefits, and they get special sustenance hunting and fishing permits, to compensate for the lack of federal SNAP benefits(it costs $14 for a single honeydew melon and $8 for a gallon of milk), the situation in Alaska is unique to that state and will not work in other states. But I'm pretty sure that if that sort of thing were to be applied to the lower 48, I doubt poor people would give up in cases what amounts to $1200 a month in benefits for $1600 a year or less if oil prices drop. The oil dividend isn't all it is cracked up to be.