New Maine Public Advocate Picks Up Where Predecessors Left Off

Maine's Public Advocate (PA) has one mission: fight like hell for electric ratepayers.

The ratepayer watchdog is appointed by the governor and approved by the legislature, but he (or she) has a term that does not run concurrent with the governor. The PA is intended to have one master: us.

Bill Harwood was sworn in last week as the latest PA. Based on this press release from the governor's office, Mr. Harwood has picked up where the last few guys left off; making excuses, glossing over hard truths, and promoting gimmicky band aids instead of raising hell for us.

Mr. Harwood had a distinguished career practicing utilities law at Verrill Dana (yes, down the hall from Juliette Browne).

As he settles into his new office, maybe it's time citizens greet him with some correspondence demanding that he actually do the job he was hired to do. 

This month CMP 88% and Versant 81% began charging their increased rates. What is Harwood doing? Revving up the govt cheese truck.

For the last decade Maine has hovered around 12th place in the nation for worst electricity rates. With these increases we are surely in the top 10, and knocking on the door of top 5. 

Has any Public Advocate since Baldacci's Wind Rush ever once stood up for ratepayers and at least WARNED policymakers that the light bills are going to go up? Remember the Maine Power Reliability Project, the "necessary" transmission upgrade that all the insiders knew was the getaway car for Kurt Adams' wind heist? 

And all the mandated power purchase agreements forced upon CMP, Bangor Hydro, Versant, et al?

The answer is no. The Public Advocates who predated Harwood all sat back and watched the train wreck.

Now the PUC is following the Legislature's directive as it takes bids to carpet bomb Northern Maine with wind and solar. What will Harwood do? Say?

Solar "farms" are sprouting like dandelions all over Maine, thanks to new laws passed in the last two years. What will Harwood do? Say?

Please write to the new Public Advocate, welcoming him to his new job. Tell him that you expect him (unlike his predecessors) to do it. 

william.harwood@maine.gov

opa.admin@maine.gov

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Comment by Penny Gray on April 29, 2022 at 1:37pm
Comment by Art Brigades on February 10, 2022 at 10:58pm

Yes, all true.

Contact Harwood.

Pressure him.

Remind him of his job. 

Comment by Bob Stone on February 10, 2022 at 9:16pm

The welfare of the people...has always been the alibi of tyrants...giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.  - Albert Camus

Comment by arthur qwenk on February 10, 2022 at 8:15pm

Gary describes the finest list of scumbags the "wind - Industry"  has ever created.

Maine is bought and paid for,graft-laden and federally subsidized to completion.

Comment by Gary Campbell on February 10, 2022 at 6:21pm

Worth noting that Harwood's former employer, Verrill Dana has a new client: Longroad Energy. Longroad is based in Boston and is proposing/permitting/building massive solar "farms" in Maine.

Longroad Energy was founded by:

  Paul Gaynor (formerly First Wind co-founder and CEO)

  Michael Alvarez (formerly First Wind President)

  Peter Keel (formerly First Wind Sr VP Strategy)

  Charles Spiliotis (formerly First Wind VP Corp Development)

Longroad's Chief Development Officer is Matt Kearns (formerly First Wind VP Development)
Longroad's VP Commercial Assets is Jeremy Law (formerly First Wind Director, Strategic Sourcing)
Longroad's VP Accounting is Andy Ursetti (formerly First Wind Chief Accounting Officer)

With a pedigree like that can we trust their projections? Can we take them at their word that they will decommission their massive solar projects after 30 years of operation? Will Longroad even survive 30 years? 

It's interesting to see that Covid has provided a benefit to developers. Now that they can hold their public meetings on Zoom, they have absolute control over the clock and the microphone.

Comment by Art Brigades on February 9, 2022 at 7:32pm

The EIA always lags behind. Their latest data tables do not show Maine's new rates, but at 11.8 cents for supply and 11.1 cents for poles & wires, 22.9 cents kWh is embarrassingly high. Tell Harwood to raise hell.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epm...

 

Maine as Third World Country:

CMP Transmission Rate Skyrockets 19.6% Due to Wind Power

 

Click here to read how the Maine ratepayer has been sold down the river by the Angus King cabal.

Maine Center For Public Interest Reporting – Three Part Series: A CRITICAL LOOK AT MAINE’S WIND ACT

******** IF LINKS BELOW DON'T WORK, GOOGLE THEM*********

(excerpts) From Part 1 – On Maine’s Wind Law “Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine if the law’s goals were met." . – Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, August 2010 https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/From Part 2 – On Wind and Oil Yet using wind energy doesn’t lower dependence on imported foreign oil. That’s because the majority of imported oil in Maine is used for heating and transportation. And switching our dependence from foreign oil to Maine-produced electricity isn’t likely to happen very soon, says Bartlett. “Right now, people can’t switch to electric cars and heating – if they did, we’d be in trouble.” So was one of the fundamental premises of the task force false, or at least misleading?" https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/wind-swept-task-force-set-the-rules/From Part 3 – On Wind-Required New Transmission Lines Finally, the building of enormous, high-voltage transmission lines that the regional electricity system operator says are required to move substantial amounts of wind power to markets south of Maine was never even discussed by the task force – an omission that Mills said will come to haunt the state.“If you try to put 2,500 or 3,000 megawatts in northern or eastern Maine – oh, my god, try to build the transmission!” said Mills. “It’s not just the towers, it’s the lines – that’s when I begin to think that the goal is a little farfetched.” https://www.pinetreewatchdog.org/flaws-in-bill-like-skating-with-dull-skates/

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Sign up today and lend your voice and presence to the steadily rising tide that will soon sweep the scourge of useless and wretched turbines from our beloved Maine countryside. For many of us, our little pieces of paradise have been hard won. Did the carpetbaggers think they could simply steal them from us?

We have the facts on our side. We have the truth on our side. All we need now is YOU.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

 -- Mahatma Gandhi

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Vince Lombardi 

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Hannah Pingree on the Maine expedited wind law

Hannah Pingree - Director of Maine's Office of Innovation and the Future

"Once the committee passed the wind energy bill on to the full House and Senate, lawmakers there didn’t even debate it. They passed it unanimously and with no discussion. House Majority Leader Hannah Pingree, a Democrat from North Haven, says legislators probably didn’t know how many turbines would be constructed in Maine."

https://pinetreewatch.org/wind-power-bandwagon-hits-bumps-in-the-road-3/

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