Corridor could have helped with high electricity prices

Latin was not lacking in my childhood, because I was raised Catholic. During the Mass, the good Father quoted the Galatians: “Ut sementem feceris ita metes”. I yawned and wiped the boredom from my eyes, not getting the message. My mother pushed me out of a daydream. I sat up on the bench for a second or two. The Father would then translate: “You reap what you sow.

I did not remember much of these services, but this passage marked me.

Fast forward to today, and my office gets many calls from constituents about their electricity bills skyrocketing. The calls go something like, “Hey Mike, what’s going on? Is the CMP taking us to the stake for not voting in the hallway? My bill is almost double what I paid last month. Can you do something about it?”

Let’s rewind. I was and am a supporter of the corridor. I even announced for a month on the radio before the elections last November that the corridor was a good thing. People told me I was crazy for wanting to vote for it, defend it, and agree with Governor Mills on it (that doesn’t happen often). But, for Maine, it was and is the right game.

We’ll come back to that in a minute.

I wanted to say to those who call into my office, “Hey, you reap what you sow! Hydro-Quebec would have given us the competition needed to keep rates much lower. But you voted against! Yet I didn’t respond that way.

Instead, I asked my team to work to investigate the reasons for the rate hike, so as not to pass judgment on my own assumptions. We have found the following that you may not be familiar with, but are publicly available around this very complex issue. Let me try to summarize here.

First, Maine is the table laid for a high-stakes card game for consumers in Massachusetts. If question 1 had failed, the parties that supply electricity to Massachusetts customers would have to share with the party behind the corridor.

But now, with the help of those who voted for Question 1, Maine’s electricity is mostly generated by a Ukrainian-born Russian billionaire who has US and UK citizenship, a Florida-based giant and a Texas rival. , all using fossils. fuels. However, a Spanish conglomerate also wants to get in on the action by bringing in hydroelectricity from Canada on the main line.

Big players playing for big money in energy hold’em.

Second, the current parties hold all the cards, but that is about to change. If Avangrid through the courts gains the ability to complete the corridor, which many suspect, it will be Avangrid’s deck. The corridor will sink and rates should fall. It will take a few years.

Third, the rate increase was not Central Maine Power seeking revenge against its customers for voting against the corridor. CMP is responsible for approximately 15% of the increase due to distribution costs. The remaining 80-85% increase is in current electricity generators, you know the billionaire, Florida and Texas folks mentioned earlier. The Maine Public Utilities Commission on November 17 of last year set these rates. The tariffs came into effect on January 1 of this year. Insult to injury, Question 1 proponents are rewarded with this increased rate of knee buckling.

Corridor is still the right game in my opinion. I see economic growth on the horizon, and we’re going to need a surplus of electricity to get there. There will be a lot of demand for anyone looking to supply Maine with power.

In the meantime, we reap what we sow. We have high electricity rates just because they can.

But, there may be a way to recoup your electricity costs by investing in those companies that benefit the most from not having a corridor, at least for a little while.

Mike Perkins of Oakland is a state representative.

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