Re: “Bill calls for new fee on all-electric, hybrid cars” (Feb. 8, Page A1):

As a recent buyer of an electric vehicle, I was taken aback Thursday morning to see that the LePage administration proposes to inflict a $250 penalty on such cars, on the grounds that their drivers are not paying their share for the upkeep of Maine roads through the gas tax.

The car I bought is a Chevrolet Bolt, as all-American as any vehicle can be in this age of globalization. Like others of your readers of a certain age, which is most of them, I remember Dinah Shore warbling an invitation to “see the USA, in your Chevrolet, America’s the greatest land of all” – a particularly appropriate sentiment in the age of “Make America Great Again.”

Where, I wondered, did this remarkable idea originate, the Blaine House not being known for its originality? My suspicion is that a bit of work by your intrepid investigative reporters will show that it derives from the undercover network of the Koch brothers, those shadowy fans of fossil fuel, and that there will prove to be a notable similarity in the language of this proposed legislation and that adopted by the 18 states that have already imposed such extra fees, though Maine’s proposed penalty is apparently to be the highest of them all. “I lead the way” is, after all, our state motto.

Fortunately, in the corporate welfare act, which is the latest tax bill, a tax credit for electric cars in the amount of $7,500 somehow remained intact, leaving me $7,250 to the good. The thought gives me comfort as my Bolt bounces lightly past the gas pumps and over Portland’s potholes.

Laurence Pope


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