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Politics

Maine Referendum Would Create Hurdle To Consumer-Owned Utility

Central Maine Power
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
In this Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, power lines converge on a Central Maine Power substation in Pownal, Maine.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Opponents of a proposal to replace the state's privately owned electric companies with a consumer-owned utility have crafted a referendum that could create a new hurdle.

The referendum proposal filed with the secretary of state's office on Tuesday would require voter approval for any quasi-government entity, including a consumer-owned utility, to take on $1 billion or more in debt.

Critics of Central Maine Power and Versant Power want to issue bonds to buy them out and create a consumer-owned utility.

Both proposals are pending with the secretary of state's office. Upon approval, supporters can begin collecting signatures.