Consumers should make their own decisions on whether or not to buy expensive electric vehicles, not unelected bureaucrats
This is Rep. Joe Galletta of Durham with the weekly Republican address.
Many people have heard by now, that unelected Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) regulators are considering a proposal that mandates the sales of electric vehicles and ultimately moves toward eliminating gas powered cars and trucks by artificially making them too expensive.
The “California Rule” proposals were initiated by environmental groups through an obscure state law that requires consideration of a rule change if citizens submit 150 signatures to a state agency.
Under the proposed Rule 127-A petition, car dealers would be subject to mandatory electric vehicle (EV) sales. It would require:
• 43% of new sales in the 2027 model year be electric vehicles, and
• 82% new sales by the year 2032 be electric vehicles.
Currently, Maine only generates about 5% sales from electric vehicles.
House Republicans alerted the media that a Public Hearing was scheduled for August 17.
Many news organizations were unaware of the proposal, or the serious ramification it has for Maine citizens and the Maine economy.
As an auto dealer and policy maker, I am deeply concerned with what a mandate of this type would do to our economy and people’s lives.
I am not opposed to people choosing to buy electric vehicles. My company sells them. I own one.
That’s their choice.
What I am opposed to is creating additional hardship for people that are already struggling for no appreciable benefit.
Lower to middle income people should not have their options limited.
Every day, I deal with Mainers that struggle to afford a $10, 12 or 15 thousand dollar car.
I also deal with people that can easily afford to pay $70, 80 or 90 thousand dollars for a new car or truck.
So why should people struggling to pay for basic, reliable transportation then have to subsidize incentives that benefit the person buying an expensive electric vehicle through taxpayer-funded incentives?
Limiting the sale of already expensive gas-powered vehicles even further will drive the cost of new or used cars and trucks even higher.
This hurts people that are already hurting in the current economy.
My concerns are shared by the 68 members of the House Republican Caucus and our Republican colleagues in the Maine Senate.
Our members helped spread the word, testified in person at the hearing, and submitted written testimony in opposition to the proposed rule.
Two Senate Democrats, including the Senate Majority Leader, testified in favor of adopting the rule.
And to my knowledge, no Democrat legislators have expressed opposition to this drastic proposal.
The stated objections House Republicans have go well beyond the scope of this radio address. They include, but not limited to:
• The impracticality and unreliability of EVS, especially in the winter.
• The lack of adequate charging stations, especially in rural Maine
• The skyrocketing cost of electricity and blackouts in California
• The planetary environmental degradation required to produce electric vehicle batteries, and
• Maine’s negligible contribution to climate change
Why do Maine Democrats continue to believe that California is a blueprint for solving Maine’s problems?
We all know, California is a mess.
House Republicans were sounding the alarm last year and will continue to do so going forward.
This coming session, legislative Republicans will renew our call to require Maine life-altering decisions of this kind be voted on by elected representatives, not unelected bureaucrats.
If Democrats truly care about the people who live in Maine, they will joining us in pushing for a law change and for Maine consumers to make their own choices regarding electric vehicles.
The proposed California rules are an extreme response to a problem that Maine didn’t create and Maine can’t solve by destroying people’s standard of living.
This has been Rep. Joe Galletta with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.
I’d like to thank you for listening, subscribing, sharing and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.