Statement by Jennifer Andersen, Energy Outreach Coordinator
There are many things the Natural Resources Council is working on to help Maine do its part to reduce global warming pollution particularly from commuting. The good news is that you CAN “get there from here,” commuting everyday, but how you do it – as this report shows- determines how much global warming pollution you make. As we have seen lately, our winter ski season and spring maple syrup production, among other things, depend on the choices we make.
One of the first recommendations in the “Driving Global Warming” report is for Maine to adopt global warming pollution standards for cars, and I’m happy to report that Maine adopted these standards in December of 2005.
As a result of these standards and by using already available technologies in new cars and trucks sold in Maine beginning in 2009 – we’ll see 30% reductions in global warming pollution by 2012. This is an important step in addressing global warming pollution from cars and trucks which is the largest contributor to global warming pollution in the state.
Hybrid vehicles also generate less global warming pollution than your average car on the road today. And for this reason, the purchase of these cleaner cars makes the buyer eligible for a hefty Federal tax credit. Check out our website for details on the Federal tax credits at maineenvironment.org – cleaner cars page.
We are currently working on a bill in the Maine statehouse to re-establish the Maine state sales tax credit for the purchase of hybrid vehicles.
The NRCM served on all five of the stakeholder working groups that developed Maine’s Global Warming Action Plan. Included in the 54 recommendations is a measure to reduce vehicle miles traveled and we currently serve on a working group to further plans on how Maine can reduce global warming pollution from commuting. Examples may include telecommuting, additional van pools, transit options, as Steve has mentioned as well as looking at land use decisions and smart growth strategies as have been described.