Friday, April 5, 2024

Barbara Bagshaw: BEP takes a U-turn on EV

By State Rep. Barbara Bagshaw

Extremists trying to turn Maine into California suffered a major setback this past week when the Board of Environmental Protection reversed its initial vote to adopt the electric vehicle sales mandate known as the “California Rule” and voted 4-2 to cease rulemaking on the controversial measure.

State Rep. Barbara Bagshaw
Had it been adopted by the seven-member, unelected board, the mandate would have required that 51 percent of new car sales in Maine be comprised of EVs by model year 2028 and 82 percent by model year 2032. This despite only one percent of consumers currently choosing to buy electric cars.

I am not against electric vehicles, it should be a consumer choice, not a government mandate that regulates lower cost, gas-powered vehicles out of existence.

Legislators are now in the process of closing the statutory loophole that allowed 150 extremists to initiate adoption of devastating rule of this kind by the BEP without a vote from the legislature.

Bill to Require Legislative Approval for New Motor Vehicle Emissions Rules Passes Committee

Following the 4-2 vote by Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection turning down a proposed electric vehicle mandate, a bill to require legislative approval for such changes was passed unanimously out of Committee. LD 2261 will require that rules regarding new motor vehicle emission standards, including rules to establish zero-emission requirements, are “major substantive” and must be approved by Maine’s Legislature.

I am hopeful this bill will become law. Major decisions of this kind need to include the public directly, or through their elected representatives.

Maine’s voice in presidential elections may be reduced

The Electoral College is a constitutional provision that ensures that small states, like Maine, have a voice in selecting the President of the United States. Because of that provision, Maine has received attention from presidential candidates. A move to circumvent the Constitution by surrendering Maine’s voice through an interstate compact is underway.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, if approved by Maine lawmakers, would award the state’s four electoral votes to whichever candidate garners the most popular votes nationwide, irrespective of who the majority of Mainers voted for at the ballot box.

That means that if Mainers voted for a different candidate than the candidate winning the national popular vote state electors would be bound to vote for the popular vote winner. The votes of large states with major cities like California and New York would dominate at the expense of smaller, rural states.

This proposal has the potential to create national chaos in our court system, especially if there is a recount in any of the states.

Dismantling the genius architecture of the Constitution one piece at a time should not be supported at the expense of Maine or our country. As your legislator I am bound to protect the interests of all Maine voters and I pledge to do all I can to stop the erosion of our rights and constitutional protections. I have been contacted by many scholars, friends, and constituents who feel strongly about this. The legislature must carefully consider protecting Maine’s 4 electoral votes from theft by large, urban states.

Participate in the Maine State Legislature’s Honorary Page Program

One of the legislative responsibilities that I enjoy the most is the opportunity to expose citizens, especially young people, to the history and beauty of our state capitol.

If you know of someone that is interested in touring the State House, please let me know. We also have a Maine State Legislature’s Honorary Page Program!

When the House is in Session, the Honorary Page Program provides students an opportunity to participate in the legislative process and to interact with legislators. Students from elementary through high school are invited to serve in the House Chamber as Honorary Pages.

Under the supervision of the Sergeant-At-Arms and Chamber Staff, Honorary Pages have the opportunity to see what it is like to work on the floor of the house. Pages perform such duties as delivering messages to Legislators and distributing Amendments and Communications in the chamber. For more information, please call my office at 207-287-1440.

Help become the change Maine needs

If you don’t like what you’re seeing, if you feel that government serves every interest but yours, I urge you to get involved at the local, state, or national level. The Maine way of life is under assault and I do not want to see our kind, beautiful state lose its character.

Representing part of Windham in the Legislature is an honor. If there is any way that I can be of assistance, please contact me at .My office phone number is 207-287-1440. You can find me on Facebook at To receive regular updates, sign up for my e-newsletter at <

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