Maine Quakers formed a group to, as they put it, “shine the light” on the utility’s hypocritical practice. Thirty went to the Augusta, Maine, headquarters on January 27, despite the likelihood that they would be locked out of the building on a frigid day. In a parking lot just a hundred yards from the building, they met, shared signs and began to sing.
As they walked toward headquarters, they saw that security had set up a barrier in front of the entrance. They asked to speak with a CMP representative. Police issued the order to disperse. Instead, Levin and three others tried to enter and were arrested. The magistrate gave them unusually high bail ($200), set a March 19 court date and barred them from returning to the site. News reports were sympathetic, highlighting the alleged duplicity of Central Maine Power.
Meanwhile, the Maine legislature is considering a bill that would require Maine homeowners with solar panels to install a new meter forcing them to pay a fee for their own solar generation. Michael White, one of those arrested, said, “CMP comes up with these phony arguments saying that poor people are going to be hurt by rich people putting solar on their roof, which is a bunch of nonsense. Solar benefits everybody, and it lowers the rates for everybody.”