Legislative Republicans urge BEP to vote no on requiring electric vehicle sales

The move toward eliminating gas-powered vehicles is scheduled for a vote on Dec. 21

STATE HOUSE – Republican leaders are urging members of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) to stand up for Maine’s people and economy and abandon the Advanced Clean Cars II Program rulemaking requiring electric vehicle sales. Leaders made their position known in the attached Dec. 7 letter to the Board. The BEP is scheduled to vote on the “California Rule” on Dec. 21 in advance of the Christmas holiday weekend.

“The recent news that auto manufacturers are scaling back production of EVs is proof that the public neither wants them nor can afford them. Even the withdrawal of the EV mandate by Connecticut’s Democratic Governor last week tells us these mandates are arbitrary and will do nothing more than harm our economy,” said Senate Republican Leader Trey Stewart, R-Aroostook. “In August, an overwhelming majority of citizens had a clear message for Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection: ‘Don’t turn Maine into California.’ Maybe it’s time state bureaucrats start listening to Maine’s people for once.”

“Extremists seem to think that only 6% of consumers want EVs because the government hasn’t forced them to buy one. The truth is this plan isn’t feasible because of Maine’s geography and infrastructure,” said House Republican Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham. “It is about freedom of consumer choice. I hope the BEP will abandon this horrible idea before it ruins the Maine economy.”

Legislative Republicans alerted the public and press to an Aug. 17 public hearing on the “California” Rule 127-A petition. The Rule 127-A petition resulted from an obscure provision of Maine law that requires bureaucratic consideration of proposed rules if the public submits 150 signatures. Climate activists submitted the petition in May.

Nearly 1,600 people either appeared in person or submitted testimony during the comment period, with 81% opposed to the requirement. At an Oct. 24 hearing, four of the seven unelected Maine BEP regulators voted to have staff prepare for adoption of the rule.

The proposed “California Rule” would mandate the percentage of vehicle sales by Maine’s car dealers that must be electric vehicles (EV). If adopted, that ratio will be 43% of all new sales for the 2027 model year, and increases to 82% of all new sales by the year 2032. It would put Maine on the path toward elimination of gas-powered vehicles by restricting their supply, thereby making them artificially expensive.

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