Phil Bartlett, Maine State Senate District Six  

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Senator Bartlett Sponsors Bill Seeking Alternatives to High-Cost Regional Energy Grid

March 17, 2008

Senator Phil Bartlett , the Senate chair of the Legislature’s Utilities and Energy Committee, said he will present a bill to his committee Tuesday that would empower the state of Maine with the right to end its relationship with the ISO New England regional transmission organization.

Over the past few years, Maine ’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and concerned consumers have reported to the Legislature that ISO New England's rules, policies, practices and methods of allocating costs among the New England states have been prejudicial to the interests of Maine consumers.

“This is a critical point in our dealings with ISO New England," said Senator Bartlett. "It is imperative that we protect Maine consumers, and this will require serious changes in our relationship with ISO."

The legislation states that if the PUC determines that ending Maine’s membership in ISO New England is in our state’s best interest, then it shall order Maine's three investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to file a plan to form an alternative structure. The new structure would encourage the development of indigenous renewable power resources to directly interconnect and expand transmission systems.

More information about the bill, LD 2254, Resolve, Regarding ISO New England is available online.