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SplinterLips t1_j1xf1va wrote

CMP funded this astroturf group with 1 million dollars of money that they charged us for power.


Massive_Fault9013 t1_j1xiar7 wrote

But 93,000 of our neighbors signed a petition to put it on our ballots. WTF? This kind of stuff just blows my mind.


Memag1255 t1_j1xqgfz wrote

simple, they lied to people.


N0mad87 t1_j1xqy81 wrote

They 100% lied to people. They brought workers in fron out of State who had ZERO idea of what they were working on. Most of them were unaware of what/who CMP is and had no training or knowledge of the issue. A small group of them DID know and didn't care and if you shopped at Market Basket in Westbrook this summer you were likely to be aggresively pressured by them to sign the petition. Ethics complaints were filed to the Secretary of State, but legally they didn't break any laws except possibly trespassing. It's a fucked up abuse of Maine's ballot measure system. FUCK CMP/IBEIRDROLA


Substantial-Treat-99 t1_j1xvktj wrote

I signed it, because it seemed like a common sense issue that should be decided by voters. I had no fucking idea that it was funded by CMP, clearly to undermine another ballot question. This has to be some sort of ethics violation


andsendunits t1_j21vqy4 wrote

I did not sign it because it was obvious to me that it was just a conservative plot to prevent progress.


Puff1012 t1_j1ykhrx wrote

You know how some people vote for a person simply based off what sign was in their neighbors front yard? Those are the people that signed this petition.


4rastapasta2 t1_j1z7hyz wrote

People are pretty stupid and easily mislead. So much propaganda stating how the government will screw it up and we will all likely die poor as a result.


FredegarBolger910 t1_j1zbemb wrote

All too easy to get signatures if you put money into canvassing for them


Laeek t1_j1yygm8 wrote

Because it's not specifically a ballot initiative opposing a publicly owned utility. The actual wording would just require voters to approve any government debt over $1 billion.

Which I personally don't support but I can see the appeal of it. It's one thing to support the state taking over the electric grid, it's another thing to support a $13 billion bond measure to take over the electric grid.


DrMcMeow OP t1_j1x5z2y wrote

A group opposed to the creation of a consumer-owned utility turned in signatures Tuesday in support of a 2023 ballot question that would ask voters to approve any government debt over $1 billion.

The effort is in response to the Pine Tree Power proposal that would create a consumer-owned utility to replace Central Maine Power and Versant Power.

The group No Blank Checks turned in more than 93,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office in hopes of getting on the November ballot.

“No Blank Checks is about as commonsense as it gets,” Willy Ritch, executive director of the campaign, said. “If we are going to be on the hook for billions of dollars in government debt, voters should get the final say on whether to take that on.”

In late October, Our Power turned in signatures to put a question on the 2023 ballot to create a consumer-owned utility.

Our Power estimates that the takeover would cost $9 billion, while No Blank Checks puts the cost at $13.5 billion.

No Blank Checks reported just over $1 million in contributions as part of its ballot question campaign, almost all of which came from Avangrid Management Co., the parent company of CMP.

On the other side, Our Power reported $543,401, with the top donor listed as Susan Bartovics, an environmentalist living on North Haven who gave $56,000, according to reports filed with the Maine Ethics Commission.

Earlier this month, both CMP and Versant ranked near the bottom on a nationwide residential customer satisfaction survey by J.D. Power.

Out of 145 utilities, CMP was second from bottom and Versant came in third from last, just above CMP.

The Secretary of State’s Office now has 30 days to verify the signatures.


N0mad87 t1_j1xr5bt wrote

Fuck Willy Rich. That organization 100% lied to Mainers and exploited Maine's ballot measure system.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1ykd31 wrote

> Our Power estimates that the takeover would cost $9 billion, while No Blank Checks puts the cost at $13.5 billion.

And BOTH of those groups are only estimating the principal costs, they haven’t even considered the interest rates, which will be another $15 to $20 Billion over the life of the bond.

Some napkin math:

CMP Customers - 667,621

Versant Customers - 165,490

Total cost of a 30 year bond - $21 $24 Billion

Each customer’s responsibility - $25,000 or about $70 $80 per month

And that’s likely on the low end.

Everyone was crying about their electric rates jumping this past year. Just wait to see what they are when you actually own the mortgage on the power company.


zorphium t1_j1ymvi7 wrote

How do u get 21B from any of the numbers you provided above


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1ynq58 wrote

You’re right, it’s actually more than that, if I use 9 billion principal, and 15 billion interest, total would be 24 billion.

$80 per month per customer just for debt service, before paying for any actual electricity.


redcoat777 t1_j1z5blr wrote

where did you get your interest rate? what payment term did you use? Using a 15 year loan at 3.84% (current 10 year treasury bond rate) on a 9B loan gives 2.85B of interest. That is a monthly “payment” of $79 per customer per month, which funnily you did get right. And using some base assumptions about profit it seems your numbers there are in the right ball park. i got $20/mo. So it seems like for an extra $60 per month we get to own and control our own grid.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1z8jsc wrote

There’s no way they would be able to finance $9B on a 15-year loan. It would likely be 30 to 35 years and closer to a 5% rate.

I did say that it was napkin math, though, and I’m just a guy on Reddit. You seem to have come to roughly the same numbers, though.

The $60 per month is just debt service for owning our own power company. Then we have to pay for the power generation, and transmission costs on top of that.


redcoat777 t1_j206xtk wrote

30 years at 5% increases the total interest to 8.4B and drops the payment to $48/mo. Pulling out the $20/mo from their profits gives an extra payment of $28/mo. Though of course with a capital project, trying to figure out how much it “hurts” to make payments has to consider inflation. If we count on 3% inflation (which is conservative) it makes the effective interest rate 2%, and a monthly inflation adjusted payment of $33, which is $13/mo after you pull their $20/mo profit margin out. that seems like a good deal to me honestly. But like you said we dont have a true picture of the cost, loan terms, or their profit.


megavikingman t1_j1yqawh wrote

Numbers are suspect, but now calculate everyone's share of profits.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1yqwog wrote

Lol, sure.

$16 per month. Don’t spend it all in one place, you’re still on the hook for the $80/month mortgage payment.


megavikingman t1_j1yshd8 wrote

How I know your numbers are wrong: CMP is still in business, after being purchased.

If they make enough money to spend a million bucks on a ballot measure that may fail, they are profitable enough to buy.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1yy0ha wrote

It’s pretty easy math.

$40 million per quarter comes straight from the news article, divided by 3 months, divided by more than 800,000 customers.

Feel free to do your own math and prove me wrong though.


popejohnpaul2nd t1_j1z4pv0 wrote

Not sure what interest rate you are using to come up with $15 billion of interest. At 5% lifetime interest on a 30yr, $9 billion loan would be about $8.6 billion.

Lets talk profit. The $40 million represents just CMP. If we take a look at the 2021 year end financial reports combined net income would be about $263 million. If we want to truly look at cash income, we need to add back depreciation, as well as add back interest, for a new entity wouldn't be responsible for the repayment of CMP's debt. That would leave us with about $487 million compared against $285 million in annualized interest repayments. I want to ignore principal repayments as those are accounted for on the cash flow statement and there is whole lot of additional fuckery going on there (e.g., CMP reported $183 million in net income in 2021 but $330 million of cash provided from operating activities). I am also not able to look at a Versant only cash flow statement.

It would appear a new entity could handle the debt load. I don't think it would result in cheaper rates right away, but certainly in the long run. I would imagine that service levels would also improve as they would be committed to serving their customers instead of padding the rate base to justify rate increases.


bleahdeebleah t1_j1z8bd5 wrote

Where are you getting the idea that each customer would be paying a constant amount each month on the bonds?


AmericanMinotaur t1_j1z9062 wrote

This is our chance to ditch CMP! Don’t mess it up! PLEASE!


zorphium t1_j1yn63g wrote

Can someone explain the finances of a public owned utility? Where do the profits from electricity sales go?


TimeMustLearn t1_j1yq203 wrote

"Profits" wouldn't even be profit any more. Extra money gets reinvested in the system for the benefit of the users.


Ebomb1 t1_j1yrmfw wrote

Back into the system. I've lived in other states with municipal-owned power and everything gets plowed right back into infrastructure.


Antnee83 t1_j1z76ma wrote

The other two comments have it right, but to add to it, if they are making a "profit" that can't be immediately used for infrastructure, the price is lowered because they're charging too much.


zorphium t1_j1zj0ww wrote

Soooo all the comments about electricity prices going up are exaggerated then? If this logic is correct then the current profits that CMP and versant are receiving would just be “replaced” when pine tree power takes over by the cost of ownership.

Back of the napkin but I think important to point out for all the people hating on pine tree.


bigbluedoor t1_j2016yh wrote

the price would probably initially go up for a couple of reasons. First, to begin to pay back the debt, and second, to begin to improve the neglected CMP infrastructure. Linemen could get better pay and benefits as they would be state employees, and that could drive up prices, but to me that is a worthwhile cost. over time rates would go down, likely well below CMP rates, but that could take a decade. This is a great plan and you should vote yes, but you won't see short term savings. Think of this as investing in Maine's future.


WalkerBRiley t1_j20xlza wrote

> Think of this as investing in Maine's future.

And this explains why it will fail, sadly. A good chunk of Maine is of the "fuck the future, I care about today" mindset.


bigbluedoor t1_j218w7a wrote

well there is a short term benefit, which is that outages would likely decrease. maybe that will be enough?


Stunning_Ambition_16 t1_j1z0uy1 wrote

I was asked to sign this coming out of the voting booth but I figured it was a petition intended to undermine Mainecare expansion so I flipped out on the signature collector and called them every scabby class-traitor name in the book. Glad to learn that I wasn’t far off!


2SticksPureRage t1_j27asrg wrote

Lol you guys only think government can do a better job now because you have a like able democrat in office. Imagine the turmoil someone like LeRage could stir up once in office?


bleahdeebleah t1_j1zbx1j wrote

Just for example, could be a per kWh used thing.


Flaky_Section t1_j1y69e4 wrote

So let me get this straight. A company that does a shitty job (granted, a pretty tough one in the state of Maine, but they do themselves no favors either) takes advantage of a stupid ballot initiative law to pose a question that actually makes sense (but could not be more self-serving).

And y’all are mad at…the company rather than the ballot initiative process. Or the state for not doing more earlier. I mean CMP sucks, utilities suck everywhere and they’re worse than most, but if you put a defective system in place (or allow it to remain in place) and expect third parties to not use the fullness of said defective system you’re literally the surprised Pikachu meme.


anonreddituser78 t1_j1z06h6 wrote

I'm sorry, but no matter how compelling an argument, when they re-refer to any "said" information, I turn into Robert Downey, rolling his eyes gif.


No_Landscape4557 t1_j261366 wrote

It really is like a bunch of spoiled children who don’t understand the consequences of their actions.

It’s the same exact way and process they used to stop the corridor(which was funded by NextEra fossil fuels generation plants) and now they cry the process is being used against them.

Let me go play the worlds smallest violin.

The ballot measure system is completely broken but only want to keep it because it works out for them sometimes.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1yk5z1 wrote

I sort of hope the Pine Tree Power vote passes, not so much because I want to see our state run by a public utility, but because it’ll be fun to see all of you crying about your electric bills exploding because you didn’t realize how much it costs to buy an entire electric company.


Coffee-FlavoredSweat t1_j1ypc22 wrote

OurPower’s website actually uses LIPA as an example of a public utility success story that saved rate payers 20%.

I wonder how that’s working out?

Almost like you could remove LIPA and insert CMP into every sentence. Bottom line, changing to a public utility isn’t going to solve our problems, and since we’ll own the mortgage on the company, will probably make our bills higher.


eigenstien t1_j1zpn1a wrote

The CMP shill with their brand new account has entered the chat.


New_Sun6390 t1_j1xiyk6 wrote

To those of you who think the government (state or federal) should own the power grid: Have you seen how the DOT maintains roads? How the IRS treats citizens? You want that for your utilities? I sure don't.


N0mad87 t1_j1xrcp2 wrote

It will be the same Maine linemen/women who maintain our lines now. Except with a consumer owned utility we can get them much better salaries/hire more workers and prioritize safety standards


mcot2222 t1_j1yipcn wrote

DOT does a great job in this State. A lot of the road issues in Maine are caused by lack of local level funding.


pinetreesgreen t1_j1xpxt9 wrote

It can't be worse than cmp. I've spent thousands in generators, replacing spoiled food and on gas trying to find an internet connect for my remote work in the past 5 years.


skrunkle t1_j1zw6yt wrote

> It can't be worse than cmp. I've spent thousands in generators, replacing spoiled food and on gas trying to find an internet connect for my remote work in the past 5 years.

Check out starlink if you haven't yet. I have been using it for close to two years now without any real issues. Fidium is threatening to roll into my area with fiber soon and I may switch because it's "A: cheaper" and "B: slightly lower latency". But overall I have been more than satisfied with my starlink experience, especially compared to the DSL alternative that never once improved over the 20 years that I had it as a service.


pinetreesgreen t1_j1zx0m9 wrote

Thanks! I have a friend who uses it and really likes it. I didn't even think how it might be useful in this situation.


megavikingman t1_j1yqr53 wrote

Yeah, we should just abandon all roads and shut the DOT down! Privatize everything! I can't wait to pay six tolls on my way to work each morning! Everyone loves that!

Hey, let's privatize fire departments! Then, they can jack up their rates as my house burns down instead of putting it out!

Fuck it, let's privatize the military too! Then we'll be "protected" by people who are willing to kill for money. That can't go wrong!

Privatization is fucking stupid. Private companies must make a profit. Public government agencies have to reinvest it.

It's really quite basic reason and math.


lucidlilacdream t1_j1yw8mv wrote

The DOT seems to actually do it’s job though. Plus, government jobs usually have better benefits. So, I don’t see how it would be bad?


egoodkowsky t1_j1xrtwl wrote

You're right the governments of Qatar and Norway are doing a much better job


egoodkowsky t1_j1xswi1 wrote

>You're right the governments of Qatar and Norway are doing a much better job

Oh, and I almost forgot the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada


anonreddituser78 t1_j1z0dwe wrote

This is the way my ultra-right wing co-worker thinks. Bet the military spending is fine tho...😒


anode_cathode t1_j1zj9br wrote

Road construction and income tax preparation are largely captured by industry. And like a good little drone, they have you blaming the government instead of the private companies that actually run these systems.


New_Sun6390 t1_j1xbr1w wrote

Good. Whether or is $9 billion or $13.5 billion, it is a ludicrous amount of money to pay toward changes that have zero chance of improving anything.

I also find it interesting that the top donor for the Pine Tree Power campaign lives on an offshore island that is not served by either of the utilities to be taken over. Is she Seth Berry's long lost cousin or what?


[deleted] t1_j1xc7nt wrote



SmellsofElderberry25 t1_j1xowfz wrote

And how is this different than what the other group is doing? They funding a non-grassroots campaign to block this using money from the company this owns the utility. I’d much rather an environmentalist from away pitch in their money than an international corporation with their stockholders interests in mind.

Edit: F autocorrect


New_Sun6390 t1_j1xep7z wrote

There is absolutely no data to support any of the alleged benefits this initiative claims to offer. The "control" over the utility would come from a board of politicoams who don't have the slightest idea how to run a power grid. Led by a dude who consistently lies to further his own personal agenda. You think things are bad now... wait till Seth takes over.

Hopefully the voters of Maine will have enough sense to vote this down. Say what you will about CMP.. better the enemy you know. ...


w1nn1ng1 t1_j1xlhdu wrote

At the absolute bottom line, a consumer owned utility operates on near zero margin. It will save us money simply due to the fact that we aren’t pumping profits to a parent company. Even if everything stayed the same, cutting out the profits would save us money. We would also be able to decide on what to fix instead of only pumping money into profit generating ventures. CMP does not operate in the best interest of its customers. It operates in the best interest of its parent company and their profit line.


joeydokes t1_j1xjnjo wrote

Best power company is one that's a co-op with good leadership

(See VT electric coop)


saigonk t1_j1yzi6l wrote

The issue with VT is power isn’t decentralized so you can’t shop for better pricing, you’re stuck with the price they provide.


joeydokes t1_j1zr9xb wrote

True that. I guess I was fortunate to have a power company that worked well and had good leadership. GMP sucks!


Massive_Fault9013 t1_j1xirko wrote

I'm guessing it's safe to assume you're being paid by CMP or Versant - if not, somebody has slipped you some punch and you might wanna slow down...


New_Sun6390 t1_j1xl8tf wrote

I am an industry retiree who knows more about running a power grid than most of the internet strangers here. My main fault is that I sometimes think people will listen to reason instead of being sheep to a corrupt politician.

Have a nice night. But be careful what you wish for. There is zero evidence a state takeoner will get you cheaper or better power.


SmellsofElderberry25 t1_j1xq1uu wrote

I know a lot of people that get power from local coops and they all get better rates AND service than the surrounding towns serviced by for-profit electric companies. Of course we don’t know what the future holds but assuming it is worse than the “devil we know” is not a way to improve things.


Squidworth89 t1_j1xpkg0 wrote

CMP and parent consistently ranked worst of their class regularly.

Isn’t too hard to do better by the sounds of it. Maybe the state will actually trim trees.


Substantial-Treat-99 t1_j1xwpl1 wrote

Why are you so invested in the enemy I know. I now know that that enemy lied to me, why would I believe you? Why would you take their side, because “blah, blah, quasi-government agency running things” like in the commercial from the last election. The quasi-government agency that keeps my water flowing has a very nice lady that actually answers the phone, and they do a great job keeping water flowing, and my money stays right here in Maine. So fuck the fuck right back off to Spain.


SplinterLips t1_j1xxwmt wrote

CMP.. better the enemy you know….

The status quo is literally the worst in the country. That is an extremely low bar.


Squidworth89 t1_j1xf1uv wrote

It’s not like the state can just take the grid… they have to buy it..

Grid should be state owned anyhow. Not to be profiteered from. CMP extracts something like $140 million plus yearly from maine for foreign owners.


IggyStop31 t1_j1xijrd wrote

Every foot of power line should be federally owned anyway. If it works for roads, it works for wires.


Sufficient_Risk1684 t1_j1zwm4l wrote

Err the federal government only owns roads on federal land... Highways are owned by states or localities...


Substantial-Treat-99 t1_j1xw59w wrote

Whose long lost cousin are you? Another lying sack of shit here to schill for Iberdola. If you lied to me to get me to sign the ballot initiative, you’re lying to me now, and you’ll lie to me again. Difference is I won’t believe you again, fucking cunt.