Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection Rejects Controversial California-Style EV Mandates

2024-03-23 13:00:10

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that back in 2020, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law the California Air Resources Board phase-out plan that would require “100 percent zero-emissions personal use and drayage vehicles by 2035 and as many medium-duty and heavy-duty vehicle applications deemed feasible by 2045.”

The state began phasing in this inanity in 2022. As of now, 11 other states have essentially adopted California’s ludicrous rules: Oregon, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Vermont, Virginia, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, New Mexico, and New Jersey.

Maine was poised to be Lucky 13. However, this past December, the Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) had to delay a vote on a proposed California-style electric vehicle (EV) mandate due to . . . power outages.

Perhaps the Maine EBP viewed it as an omen. That would be one explanation for its vote this week.

New rules that would have dramatically changed the future of car sales in Maine won’t be moving forward after a vote Wednesday in Augusta.

The state’s Environmental Protection Board was conflicted about the proposal until the very end.

If passed, Maine would have followed California’s lead in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s incredibly disappointing,” Natural Resource Council of Maine Climate and Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator Josh Caldwell said.

Intriguingly, board members brought up issues I have raised time and time again at Legal Insurrection: The lack of infrastructure to support significant numbers of EVs and the inability of current grid capacity to handle the load.

Others on the Board brought to the forefront a variety of concerns that Mainers have raised over the past few months with regard to this proposal, including a lack of charging infrastructure, insufficient electrical grid capacity, accessibility for lower income Mainers, decreased functionality in cold weather, and government interference with market forces.

Although numerous technological advances alleviating a handful of these concerns have been promised, members of the Board expressed discomfort in moving forward with these rule changes given that so many uncertainties are still on the table.

Board members also questioned if it would be realistic to expect the Maine to go from having only a small percentage of new car sales be comprised of EVs to increasing this share to 51 percent over the course of just a few years.

Beege Welborne delved into the origins of the original proposal, which was based on a climate cultist submitting a petition with 150 signatures to the progressive governor.

What’s interesting is that the genesis of this mandate drive for the whole state was spurred by activists and a progressive governor – Janet Mills – jumping on a measly 150-person signature petition. It made perfect sense because it provided the radical Democrat in the governor’s mansion a way to circumvent the state legislature, which contains enough Republican members to be troublesome.

Meanwhile, the “troublesome” Republicans are highlighting their protection of consumers’ freedom to choose.

“There are more of these tactics coming forward to try and force their will on the consumers of Maine,” Senator Brad Farrin (R-Somerset) said. “We are about consumer choice and consumers having choice.”

Republican leaders say they’re not against EVs, they just agree that Maine’s infrastructure can’t handle the transition that soon.

It appears that real climate scientists and energy realists are beginning to prevail. Let’s hope that other states follow Maine’s example and just say “No” to California crazy.

Energy expert Robert Bryce took a look and the numbers and determined residential electricity prices in California jumped nearly 12% in 2023 and notes they are going higher.

California’s energy woes are getting worse. According to the latest numbers from the Energy Information Administration, the state’s residential electricity prices, already among the highest in America, jumped by 3 cents per kilowatt-hour last year, an increase of 11.9%. The average California homeowner now pays 28.9 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity, which is the third-highest price in the U.S., behind only Connecticut and Hawaii.

Unfortunately, the 2023 price increases are only a hors d’oeuvre. California’s electric rates are headed for the exosphere.

Maine took one look at California’s energy abyss . . . and stepped back.


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Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection Rejects Controversial California-Style EV Mandates


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