A recent op-ed argued that Mainers aren’t ready to drive electric cars and trucks (“Commentary: Maine is not ready for an electric vehicle mandate,” Aug. 22). This is simply untrue.

The climate crisis is here, with the Gulf of Maine warming faster than the rest of the ocean. Rising temperatures and sea levels wreak havoc on coastal communities and the marine economy. To combat this crisis, we must slash polluting fossil fuel emissions from our cars and trucks.

Electrification is already well underway, driven by people who love the cost savings and smooth rides. But this transition could use a boost, which is best provided by the state adopting a new rule to speed the process and ensure Mainers have access to clean and practical vehicles.

Already adopted by states throughout the country, this rule would bring more clean cars to our streets by gradually phasing out the sale of new fossil-fuel powered vehicles. It would never force a Mainer to buy any particular type of vehicle, and people would still be able to buy and sell used gas-powered cars for decades to come.

A new study by sustainability consultancy Environmental Resources Management estimates the proposed rule would deliver $17 billion in benefits for Maine’s families and businesses, including cleaner air, improved public health and lower utility bills. In addition, the study found that electric vehicle drivers save money in the long run, even accounting for the costs of charging and chargers.

Going electric is a no-brainer.

Emily Green
Conservation Law Foundation

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