Testimony: Requiring Legislative Approval of Zero-Emissions Rules


Testimony in Support of LD 2261,An Act Designating New Motor Vehicle Emissions Rules as Major Substantive Rules” 

Senator Brenner, Representative Gramlich, and distinguished members of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, thank you for the opportunity to testify on LD 2261. My name is Jacob Posik and I serve as the Director of Legislative Affairs at Maine Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to expand individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. I am testifying on behalf of Maine Policy in support of LD 2261.

Maine Policy applauds the sponsors of LD 2261 for bringing this bill forward. The people of Maine should not have their personal choice in the automobile market stripped from them by unelected bureaucrats within the Bureau of Environmental Protection (BEP). If it is the Legislature’s intent to force Maine people to buy zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) now or in the future, the Legislature should express that intent with an affirmative vote. 

Legislative consent should be required on these matters because elected lawmakers represent–and are accountable to–the people of Maine who send them to Augusta. Members of the BEP do not represent–and are not accountable to–Maine people. They are accountable only to the governor who appoints them to their post.

Thus, without Legislative consent, the people of Maine have no recourse if they disagree with regulatory actions taken by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) related to the adoption of zero-emissions requirements. 

Mainers have made it clear that they want nothing to do with ZEV mandates. Of the approximately 440 publicly available comments submitted to the BEP in regards to the Chapter 127-A: Advanced Clean Cars II Program, roughly 350, or 80%, were submitted in opposition. ZEV mandates are also broadly unpopular across the country. A June 2023 Pew Research survey found that nearly 60% of American citizens oppose phasing out gas-powered vehicles in favor of ZEVs by 2035 as California has planned to do, which is the impetus behind Maine’s consideration of the Chapter 127-A rules. 

Because the Chapter 127-A rules are deeply unpopular among Maine people who deserve to have their opinions represented in this debate by their elected representatives, Maine Policy strongly urges the committee to support LD 2261 this session. Thank you.