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Wednesday, March 16, 2016: Foreign corporations control Maine energy, support Hillary Clinton, Maine needs solar power

Foreign corporations control Maine energy

In reference to the March 10 BDN article about the Legislature and electricity deregulation, we need to remember that Maine’s three major electric utilities are owned by out-of-state — indeed, outside the United States — corporations. Emera Maine, based in Nova Scotia, owns the former Bangor Hydro and Maine Public Service Co. electric utilities.

Central Maine Power Co., since September 2008, was owned by the international giant corporation, Iberdrola, from Spain. A few months ago, CMP and Iberdrola agreed on CMP being owned by Avangrid, a combined company of Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corp. in Connecticut.

In addition to all that, back a few years ago, Florida Power and Light, which purchased all of CMP’s hydroelectric generation back in 1998, separated its generation and transmission operations into NextEra Energy and FPL Energy Maine Hydro and then sold its hydroelectric assets to Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners, based in Toronto.

The familiar orange-and-white trucks of CMP are still out there — in ice storms, blizzards and hurricanes — and the employees are still your neighbors and friends. The same is true in Bangor and Aroostook County, where Emera Maine maintains the electrical grid. But the corporate offices of all three former Maine-based and headquartered electric utilities are in Spain and Canada.

Dennis Marrotte


Support for Clinton

Everyone I know supports Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee for president. I admire the man. I also would like an old, Jewish socialist in the White House.

But given anti-Semitism, ageism and irrational fear of the word “socialist,” Sanders would be beaten by whichever of the odious and unqualified men who will be the GOP nominee.

I am still with Hillary Clinton. If she loses, our only hope is annexation by Canada.

Peg Cruikshank


Maine needs solar power

Maine is the only New England state without a comprehensive solar policy, and it is time to correct this omission. LD 1649, An Act to Modernize Maine’s Solar Power Policy and Encourage Economic Development, will increase the installation of solar power, which will create jobs, reduce energy costs and help protect the climate.

In the 1970s, I built a passive solar house. That was a rewarding experience. When my husband and I moved to Maine 30 years ago, we built a similar passive solar house in anticipation that some day we would add solar panels to further reduce our carbon footprint. Last fall, we hired a Maine company to install solar panels and heat pumps, all of which function well.

Passage of LD 1649 would provide jobs, increase renewable energy and make the state more self-reliant.

Please urge your legislators to pass LD 1649.

Diane Walker


MLK would support Sanders

Martin Luther King Jr. in a 1961 speech before the Negro American Labor Council proclaimed, “call it democracy or call it democratic socialism, but there must be a better distribution of wealth within this country for all God’s children.”

In October 1964, King called for a “gigantic Marshall Plan” to benefit the poor, both black and white alike, to solve the nation’s need for wealth distribution, a problem he believed would be solved with some form of democratic socialism.

In a conversation with journalist David Halberstam in 1968, King said, “For years I labored with the idea of reforming the existing institutions of society, a little change here, a little change there. Now I feel quite differently. I think you’ve got to have a reconstruction of the entire society, a revolution of values.”

Enter Bernie Sanders, whose political revolution will require millions of Americans standing together and demanding to be heard, demanding a major societal change, demanding an end of the capitalist establishment and a left turn into what King described as democratic socialism.

Eliot Chandler



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