High energy costs are making Maine increasingly unaffordable for people of average means. Misguided state energy policies contribute to the problem of high energy costs and make a bad situation even worse.
Governor Mills has pledged to meet California-style electric vehicle mandates.
Despite the Governor’s recent assertion that she does not support a California-style mandate to ban gas-powered vehicles by 2035, her Climate Council recommendationsthe update Roadmap to Clean Transportation in Maineand Maine’s close adherence to some of California’s stringent emissions standards make that hard to believe.
Its Clean Transportation Roadmap states:
“The most important regulatory driver in Maine’s light-duty vehicle electrification over the next two decades will be the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACC II) standards, which were adopted in California and are expected to be adopted in Maine in 2022. ”
That same report calls for a gas tax hike to fund the expansion of electric vehicles.
Last week, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted to eliminate the sale of gasoline and diesel engines by 2035.
Think about it…
No sale of gasoline and diesel engines by 2035!
As gasoline prices begin to decline slightly from record highs, it’s hard not to get the impression that Democrats seem determined to keep prices high to meet their emissions reduction goals. .
The central strategy is to increase the number of electric vehicles in Maine by nearly 4,000% and reduce the number of miles driven by 20% over the next 7 years (from 5,677 to 219,000 by 2030) .
As emissions continue to decline, rural driving, Maine cars and trucks will increasingly be seen as part of the problem.
Currently, all new vehicles sold in Maine must meet California’s Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standards. Standards that are being updated in concert with recently passed rules to completely phase out gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), their upcoming LEV IV exhaust emission standards for model years 2026″ will reduce emissions from combustion-engine vehicles, potentially for the last time given the rapid pace of electrification. Consider Maine handing over control of what you have to pay for cars to the California legislature. If they raise a requirement, Maine has to follow suit.You didn’t vote for anyone in the California Legislature, but they set our standards.
The Maine Clean Transportation Roadmap, produced by the Governor’s Office of Energy, continues to refute the Governor’s claim that it is not interested in California. The first recommendation of the report to increase the use of electric vehicles in Maine is the adoption of the California Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) program which will effectively eliminate sales of gas-powered cars and trucks. The rationale for the roadmap says it “sends a clear, long-term signal to automakers to increase deliveries of (electric vehicles).”
Most Mainers know that this kind of all-electric vision for our rural state isn’t realistic when the commutes are long and 3 of the top 5 selling vehicles are trucks with no viable alternative to replace their 62% share of vehicles. lighters sold here.
Taking out a loan of over fifty thousand dollars for a vehicle that doesn’t have the size and capacity to replace the F-150, or a minivan is unrealistic when times are good. It’s even more outrageous when we’re facing double-digit inflation and electricity rates have gone up 83%. Even as the charging infrastructure grows, it won’t be enough to cope with longer charging times and range reductions of around 20% in cold weather.
Republicans, who spend their time hunting, fishing, hiking and enjoying all that Maine has to offer, want the cleanest air and water possible for future generations. But before we act, we also need to ensure that the policies of state governments do not come at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens and that the policy implemented will have an impact on the issue being addressed.
To better understand why the sky does not fall:
- The United States is on track to reduce emissions by about 26-41% below 2005 levels under current climate policy.
- Maine’s total transportation sector emissions were 8% lower in 2019 than in 1990.
- Maine is approximately 75% of the way to carbon neutrality, which means that 75% of gross greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced or are offset by sequestration in the environment.
Governor Mills’ slavish adherence to California standards will make life even more difficult for rural Maine residents struggling to keep pace with rising costs. It’s bad enough. It is even more disturbing that his policies have little or no effect on the fight against climate change.
This article is Republican Radio’s weekly speech for September 1, 2022.