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Value of quasi-state electricity program called into question

Five years after a scandal at the Maine Turnpike Authority landed its director in prison, a quasi-state program — Maine PowerOptions (MPO), which brings together municipalities, school districts and other state nonprofits to purchase electricity in bulk — lacks transparency and effective oversight. An investigation by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, including the findings of a state probe kept confidential until now, found there is virtually no proof that up to $500 million in taxpayer money that MPO has directed to a single electricity supplier over the past 16 years has been well spent. Continue Reading →

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State program’s cozy relationship to supplier raises concerns

Both a confidential state probe and a subsequent independent investigation by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, including a review of a confidential agreement between Maine PowerOptions and its electricity supplier, raise questions about whether the quasi-state program is living up to its original mission of saving Maine taxpayers money. Continue Reading →

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Boston PowerOptions is a larger, more transparent version of MPO

Several northeastern states, including New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have formed groups similar to Maine PowerOptions. Boston-based PowerOptions runs an organization nearly identical in mission to the Maine program, though far larger in scale — and with more transparency. Continue Reading →

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