Support affordable energy and transportation

Dear Editor:

Anyone who cares about the economy should be concerned about LD 167 and LD 1532, two bills in the Legislature that could cripple Maine’s energy and transportation infrastructure, increasing the cost of heating oil, fuel, gasoline and asphalt for Maine families and businesses.

Pretty much every business organization in the state opposes one or both of these bills. Even the Maine Department of Environmental Protection testified that LD 1532 would have “no measurable environmental benefit.” The American Society of Civil Engineers gave Maine roads a D on its most recent report card and poor roads cost Maine drivers $1.3 billion per year in vehicle operating costs, delays from congestion and crashes. Talk about a public health emergency!

The Maine Department of Transportation already has a shortfall of $330 million per year just to maintain the system we have. If we cannot get products like asphalt from storage tanks in South Portland, we sure would not help the environment by forcing trucks to drive all the way to Massachusetts, Rhode Island and beyond, and we could see the cost of product go up 25 to 50 percent.

Instead of crippling our liquid fuel infrastructure with these bills, we should be increasing our capacity for low-carbon renewable biofuels, which can be produced right here in Maine. If we want to increase our use of green energy and meet our carbon goals then we need to enhance, not eliminate, our liquid fuel infrastructure.

Irv Smith


President, Maine Better Transportation Association

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