Public Advocate Urges Regulators To Closely Examine Canadian Company's Plan To Buy Maine Utility

Aug 8, 2019

Maine Public Advocate Barry Hobbins says he wants the Public Utilities Commission to take a close look at the proposal by Canadian company Enmax to buy Emera Maine, the state's second-largest utility.

"I would like to see efforts made as part of the agreement to see whether or not there could be a new collective bargaining agreement in place," Hobbins says. "I'd like to see about staffing, and whether or not the present staffing plan is adequate to provide resiliance, reliability and a protective and safe workplace for the employees."

Hobbins says his office will look into Enmax's past experience and whether it will continue to employ enough people to provide reliable electric service.

"Without prejudging anything to do with the new suitor, Enmax, we don't want another FairPoint situation," Hobbins says. "And I think we all learned a big lesson from the FairPoint experience."

The state allowed FairPoint Communications to buy Verizon's land-line service in northern New England in 2008. In less than two years, FairPoint filed for bankruptcy.