Comments submitted by the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition
Chairman Scott and members of the Board of Environmental Protection, the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition (Coalition) is a coalition comprised of the above organizations that represent tens of thousands of Maine citizens who are concerned about the impacts global warming will have on Maine’s environment, economy, and way of life. Our mission is to support swift implementation of the Maine Climate Action Plan in order to meet the state’s emissions targets.
The Coalition strongly supports the proposed green house gas tailpipe emission standards for new cars and trucks in Maine for the following reasons:
• Global warming pollution from Maine cars and trucks is responsible for nearly 40% of the total statewide global warming emissions.
• Maine already is seeing the warning signs of global warming, with sea level rise, beach erosion, increased temperatures, and reduced precipitation.
• Rising temperatures caused from global warming pollution creates increasing levels of smog and that could lead to more frequent and severe cases of asthma and respiratory diseases in Maine where adult asthma rates are already among the highest in the national and children’s are the highest in New England.
• With adoption of the standards, global warming tailpipe emissions would be reduced 22 percent by 2012 and up to 30 percent by 2016 as compared to the 2002 fleet.
• Many studies have concluded that adoption of the global warming tailpipe standards is the single best option available for reducing global warming pollution from cars and trucks.
• Enactment of these standards was deemed the second highest priority out of 54 proposed actions in Maine’s 2004 Climate Action Plan as close to 987 thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide could be reduced.
• If Maine fails to adopt these standards by the end of the year, then we will no longer have an identical program to the one that exists in California – and Maine could become vulnerable to legal or regulatory action challenging our entire CAL-LEV program. States cannot separate the proposed greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions standards from its on-going CAL-LEV program.
• It appears that Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, and New York all will adopt the CAL-LEV Global Warming Tailpipe Standards by the end of the year. Maine should stay with the leaders in addressing this source of global warming pollution, and not lag behind.
• Auto manufacturers already have a number of advanced technologies in current model year cars on the road that meet the proposed standards. They would have flexibility in meeting the standards, including fleet-wide averaging of emissions and a two-year window before the standards would go into effect.
• With rising gas prices, growing dependence on foreign oil, and increasing concern about the threat of global warming – now is the time to require all automakers to deliver cars and trucks to help address these problems.
For these reasons, the Maine Global Warming Action Coalition respectfully requests the Board of Environmental Protection to adopt the proposed “Green House Gas Vehicle Emission Standards” for new cars and trucks in Maine, on December 1, 2005.
Jennifer Andersen, Coordinator
Maine Global Warming Action Coalition
Coalition members are: American Lung Association – Maine Chapter * Conservation Law Foundation * Chewonki Foundation * Clean Air-Cool Planet * Environmental Defense * Environment Maine * Environment Northeast * Maine Audubon Society * Maine Center for Economic Policy * Maine Clean Communities = MC2 * Maine Council of Churches * Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners’ Association* Maine Physicians for Social Responsibility * Maine Public Health Association * Maine Small Business Alliance * Natural Resources Council of Maine *
National Environmental Trust * Sierra Club – Maine Chapter * The Nature Conservancy * U.S. Green Buildings – ME Chapter * U.S.M. Sustainability Office