Below is an update from NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator Josh Caldwell on stronger standards for clean cars and trucks in Maine:
“Due to the severity of the recent storm, the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) was forced to cancel today’s meeting to vote on stronger standards for clean cars and trucks. The standards that would have been considered by BEP today would have expanded consumer choice, reduced air pollution, and helped Maine meet its climate goals.
Specifically, the standards would have cut climate pollution from light-duty cars and trucks by three-quarters and brought $16.9 billion in benefits to Maine by 2050. Most of those benefits would have gone directly to Maine drivers in reduced fuel and maintenance costs, with rural drivers benefiting the most as they drive more miles on average.
Today, the DEP reposted the Advanced Clean Cars II (ACCII) standard for consideration in 2024. Without similar action on the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) standard, that rule will expire, even though heavier trucks cause some of the most harmful pollution on the road. Because ACCII was not adopted this calendar year, the earliest Mainers will benefit from the ability to access a greater number of electric vehicle models is model year 2028.
This delay in Maine’s collaborative effort to tackle the challenge of climate change is deeply unfortunate, and ironic. Adopting stronger standards for clean cars and trucks remains an essential component of our continued efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from the transportation sector and meet our climate goals. At the same time, scientists have made clear that the recent storm and its impacts are linked to climate change.
The events of the last week and the many lives that have been impacted should serve as a stark reminder that protecting Maine people and Maine’s environment requires decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and respond to the ongoing impacts of climate change that are being felt by Maine’s communities.”