Business Manager Tony Sapienza
Lawmakers, Union Reps and Customers Express Concerns About Proposed Emera Maine Sale to ENMAX
August 7, 2019 - Senate President Troy Jackson, Rep. Seth Berry, IBEW Local 1837 and Emera ratepayers held a press conference in Orono to share their concerns about the proposed sale of Emera Maine to ENMAX of Calgary, Alberta.
Mainers are worried about the proposed sale of Emera Maine to ENMAX and the impact it could have on Emera Maine’s workers as well as the ratepayers of Maine’s second largest electric utility.
Specifically, they are concerned that ENMAX is paying too much ($1.3 Billion, all financed by debt) and is too small a company to provide the service Emera Maine’s ratepayers need and deserve. Cuts in staffing and service along with substantially increased electric rates may be necessary to help finance this proposed acquisition.
“More than 150,000 people in Northern Maine depend on Emera Maine for electricity, including myself. With so much at stake, we need to make sure the sale of Emera to ENMAX doesn’t leave hardworking families and seniors in the dark,” said President Jackson. “The PUC shouldn’t allow this deal to move forward unless it is in the best interest of Mainer ratepayers.”
Rep. Seth Berry is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology.
"This sale has all the hallmarks of the FairPoint sale," Berry said, "and that is something that we need to avoid."
Other speakers at the news conference included Laurie Osher; a small businessperson, Rep. Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth, another member of the EUT Committee; Renee Gilman, an Emera Maine customer service representative on leave who is currently working for IBEW Local 1837; and Dick Rogers, Business Manager for IBEW Local 1837, the union representing more than 200 Emera Maine Employees.
"We urge the Maine Public Utilities Commission to carefully consider the impacts on Maine workers and Emera Maine customers before allowing the sale to proceed," Rogers said. "We believe that there must be a significant, binding agreement in place to assure that Emera Maine customers have the quality electric service they need and deserve. We believe that given the new net benefit standard passed by the Maine Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mills, that the PUC has the tools in their toolbox to ensure that Emera Maine customers and its workers are protected."