AUGUSTA — Former NASCAR driver and Transportation Committee member Rep. Austin Theriault (R-Fort Kent) today urged Maine regulators to reject a proposed ban on sales of gas powered vehicles.
The ban is scheduled to be considered this morning by the Maine Board of Environmental Protection.
“The government forcing Mainers to buy electric vehicles will hurt Maine’s working class so badly that I respectfully question whether the folks proposing it have lost touch with reality,” Theriault said. “I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more harmful proposal. People in rural Maine are really struggling and this government crackdown would make it much, much worse for folks. This scheme should be rejected unanimously today and every Mainer should make sure they weigh in against it loudly and clearly.”
Rep. Theriault previously voiced opposition to the ban during the public hearing in August. Read his past comments below:
Bangor Daily News: Electric vehicle standards force a new political debate in Maine:
“One of the most outspoken opponents so far has been Rep. Austin Theriault, R-Fort Kent, a former NASCAR driver who told WVOM that the changes were not based in “reality.” “We’re not there yet, so I think we have to be very cautious and methodical about this,” he said.
Theriault also said he thinks this proposal would make it harder for his constituents who are struggling to get by.
“Folks in Aroostook County are making about $28,000 per year, while the average new car is already almost double that. Gas sits around $4 per gallon, and electric rates continue to skyrocket,” he said. “I suspect those who proposed and support these plans have lost touch with the struggles of Maine’s working class. Making driving more expensive to try to meet the state’s arbitrary emissions goals is unacceptable.”
“…these rules would force people who can’t afford these expensive vehicles to make these purchases,” said Rep. Austin Theriault, R-Fort Kent.
“…these changes are not based in reality.”