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Proposal to replace Maine power companies moves ahead

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A proposal to replace power companies in Maine with a consumer-owned utility has passed a test in the Maine Legislature. Critics of the two biggest power companies in the state, Versant and Central Maine Power, want to replace the companies with a new utility called Pine Tree Power Company. The Maine Senate voted 19-16 in favor of the bill a day after the Maine House gave its approval. More votes were necessary. The proposal would ultimately allow residents of the state to vote on whether they want to create the new nonprofit utility. Supporters of the move have said they were motivated to propose it by high power costs and frequent outages.