The citizen initiative petition effort to create a consumer-owned utility has been found valid, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows confirmed in a press release issued this afternoon.
The petition for ‘An Act to Create the Pine Tree Power Company” had been in circulaltion since October 22, 2021. On October 31, 2022, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 10,279 petition forms with 80,154 signatures of voters who support the initiative.
Staff members found 69,735 valid signatures, while 10,419 were not valid. A minimum of 63,667 signatures from registered Maine voters was required for citizen initiatives submitted following the 2018 election.
The initiative to create a consumer-owned utility will now go to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2023 – one year from now.
Central Maine Power has consistently ranked as one of the, if not the most, unpopular power companies in the country.