Taking Action

MEMA works tirelessly on behalf of its members and the public to ensure Maine policy goals reflect the interests of the local petroleum industry. We’re your voice on the state-level as well as the national stage, identifying specific legislative and relevant regulatory issues, campaigning for laws that will allow energy marketers and affiliates to advance their businesses and helping guide Association professionals as they communicate the industry’s concerns to lawmakers, regulators and the general public. We frame our arguments with facts, emphasizing honesty, transparency and education in order to best represent our membership.

During the 131st Legislature MEMA tracked 61 bills, 41 failed, 20 are now Public Laws or Resolved, 4 are Resolves.

MEMA had many successes over the two year cycle:

LD 319 An Act to Amend Maine’s Underground Oil Storage Tank Laws

Public Law, Ch. 16

This law removed the 10-year limitation on underground oil storage tanks allowing double-walled tanks to continue in service indefinitely as long as the same testing requirements are satisfied.

LD 755 An Act to Promote Higher Blends of Biofuel by Regulating the Sale or Transfer of Biofuels

Public Law, Ch. 43

This law amended definitions applicable to the sale of biodiesel, biomass-based diesel, biomass-based diesel blends and biodiesel blends according to meet the requirements of the most recent ASTM standards.

LD 1479 Resolve, Directing the Public Utilities Commission to Convene a Stakeholder Group Regarding Liquefied Propane Gas Systems and the So-called Dig Safe Law

Resolve, Ch. 41

This resolve directed the Public Utilities Commission to convene a stakeholder group to discuss the provisions in law related to the “Dig Safe Law.” The resolve directed the commission to submit a report summarizing the stakeholder group’s discussion and any recommended legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 131st Legislature.

LD 2245 An Act to Clarify the Definition of "Underground Facility" and Reduce Administrative Burdens Under the So-called Dig Safe Law

Public Law, Ch. 572

This new law greatly reduce the administrative burdens associated with participation in the Dig Safe system without compromising safety. With the passage of LD 2261 you are not required to register the liquefied propane gas systems underground pipes that are located on a residential lot if:

  • The residential lot has no more than one structure connected by underground pipes to the propane gas distribution system.
  • The structure that is connected by underground pipes to a propane gas distribution system contains no more than two dwelling units.
  • And, Propane gas tank is located 25 (Twenty-Five) feet or less from that structure

    LD 2261 An Act Designating New Motor Vehicle Emissions Rules as Major Substantive Rules

    Public Law, Ch. 624

    This bill provides that rules adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection regarding new motor vehicle emission standards, including rules to establish zero-emission requirements, are major substantive rules.  It also provides that proposed rules before the Board of Environmental Protection on or after January 1, 2024 to incorporate the requirements of California’s Advanced Clean Cars II regulation and California’s Advanced Clean Trucks regulation are major substantive rules.

    Electric Cars and Trucks Mandate Proposal to BEP

    MEMA worked as a founding member of the Mainers for Smart Energy Coalition to oppose the California’s Advanced Clean Cars II Program and the California Advanced Clean Trucks rule for two years. There were many proponents and opponents that shared comments orally on the proposed rule and in front of the Board of Environmental Protections. Even more were submitted in writing.  There were four separate public hearings on the issue, all lengthy. The BEP Board Chair, Susan Lessard said that over 1,100 comments were submitted and that this was by far the most comments she has ever seen submitted on an issue facing the BEP. BEP voted against both these proposals. Upsetting to many environmental groups, but a big win for MEMA and the industry.

    Rules of the Road

    We adhere to a strict set of guidelines when appearing in Augusta, and our protocol is as follows:

    1. Always tell the truth! This is not a contest of who is the best at deception, but rather who has the facts, the law and the science on their side. Our job is to always tell the truth. At the end of the day, all you have to deliver is your credibility, which comes from establishing a reputation for making good on what you say and having what you say turn out to be right.

    2. Keep to just the facts. We do well in Augusta because we make sure we have all the facts and have them straight. We deliver the facts from the perspective of how an issue affects our businesses, our employees and our communities.

    3. Speak only about what you know, never about what you guess. If you don’t know the answer to a question, then simply say you don’t know, but will get the answer from the appropriate channels. Guessing leads to counter-guessing, which ends in embarrassment—something we strive to avoid at all costs.

    4. Be polite and calm. Let others scream and holler; we’re in this because we know what we’re doing and have absolute command of the issues we pursue.

    5. Be focused. Others may try to distract you from the issues at hand. Resist the urge to be pulled off topic.

    6. Don’t give in to bullying. Some may try to knock you off your guard with direct or implied threats. Remember, you’re not alone: you’re part of an association that is here to help and protect you. Those who try to scare us off won’t dissuade us from our task.

    7. Offer help. Legislators have a job to do, and we need to help them do it. You can’t blame a legislator for making a bad decision when you haven’t tried to help them make a good decision. Be a resource of information and willingly lend a hand.

    8. Never mention money or political contributions. Elections are for raising money; legislatures are for legislating. The fact that we may or may not have made a contribution to someone has no bearing during a legislative debate. We never tie money and votes together under any circumstances.

    9. Be open to compromise. When it makes sense due to circumstances, political or otherwise, we compromise even if that means we don’t get everything we want. There will be another legislature and another time to take another run at an issue, so get what you can and then come back for more another day.