What the Media won’t tell you about Governor Mills’ First Veto and why it ‘Stinks’

Hello, this is Representative Beth O’Connor of Berwick. Recent Republican radio addresses, have focused on the economy, onerous new taxes, unfunded mandates, burdensome regulations, anti-business attitudes, debt, and the state budget. Clearly, there are differences between the political parties in these areas over how to improve Maine.

This week, my address will focus on an area where we should, and did agree – UNANIMOUSLY. No more ethanol in our gasoline!

My bill, LD 822 – An Act To Prohibit the Sale of Motor Fuel Containing More than 10% Ethanol was passed unanimously out of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee and unanimously in the Maine House and Senate.

Victory… right?


When the bill got to Governor Mills’ desk, SHE VETOED IT!


Before I get to that, let me remind listeners why ethanol is bad and why the bill passed unanimously in the HOUSE and SENATE.

According to the Environmental Working Group:

  • Ethanol-Gasoline Fuel Blends May Cause Human Health Risks and Engine Issues
  • Emissions from higher ethanol fuels may worsen health risks from air pollution.
  • Distribution of higher ethanol fuel blends may pose new safety risks and higher fuel costs.

According to the American Petroleum Institute:

  • Ethanol has 33% less energy than gasoline meaning it gets fewer miles per gallon. Consumers have spent more on higher ethanol content fuels because they have to fill up more often to go the same miles according to AAA.
  • The Clean Air Task Force found that corn ethanol’s net greenhouse gas emissions are “28% higher than emissions that would result from the use of regular gasoline.”

According to the Friends of the Earth:

“The effort to replace gasoline with ethanol is misguided and dangerous.”

Concerns include:

  • More air pollutants (e.g. nitrous oxide and formaldehyde);
  • Drinking water contamination;
  • Increasing food price volatility;
  • Increasing the global hunger rate
  • It causes Environmental Damage through:
  • Waterway pollution from chemical runoff;
  • It Costs consumers by:
  • Damaging older cars and trucks, and small and off-road engines;
  • Voiding engine warranties

The Natural Resource Defense Council says that “even the EPA knows it threatens the air we breathe”

According to Consumer Reports Gas with ethanol can make small engines fail:

“Ethanol has inherent properties that can cause corrosion of metal parts, including carburetors, degradation of plastic and rubber components, harder starting, and reduced engine life,” says Marv Klowak, global vice president of research and development for Briggs & Stratton, the largest manufacturer of small engines. “The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects.” 

Don’t you wonder why Maine’s environmental lobby and press ignored these issues?


Governor Mills vetoed the bill, despite the health, environmental, small engine and fuel economy concerns of Mainers.

It is my understanding that the Legal Counsel for the Maine Democratic Party was hired by one of the select few companies in Maine with tanks capable of selling E-15. E-15 can be sold for cheap, giving that company a competitive advantage over other gas stations, especially small mom and pop operations.

This stinks!

Since when do the concerns of one company override our lungs, our environment and need for fuel-efficient vehicles that don’t seize up from watered down gas? 

We’ve had 5 months of puffball news stories about how Governor Mills is making climate change a top priority.

LD 822 was a concrete, unanimous, specific, proposal to protect the environment now, not decades down the road.

The wants of the few triumphed over the health, environmental and consumer concerns of the rest of us.

Even worse, 50 House Democrats changed their vote on the Veto override vote, so that it failed by 4 votes!

The Governor’s staff and lobbyists for the corn-ethanol lobby were working the halls to switch votes.


Did the environmental lobby or the media alert the public to this consumer health and environmental threat?

Remember when Paul LePage was Governor. The media spent all its time and energy fixated on every perceived, real, or manufactured flaw.  Not so with Janet Mills and legislative Democrats.

This is why you need to pay attention to what one-party rule in Augusta, and de facto state-run media, means for you and Maine. Bad legislation that is sugar coated, and like ethanol, harmful to Maine.

Countless people have told me that this not what they wanted when they voted for Janet Mills and Democrats last fall. They didn’t sign up for new home heating fuel taxes, new taxes on beer and wine, or to pay for abortions that the federal government won’t pay for. They didn’t vote to give up their First and Second Amendment rights under the Constitution.

They also weren’t in favor of higher property taxes, or a government that is planning on spending 99.995% of available taxpayer funds to fund an unsustainable 11Plus % increase in the state budget that is unsustainable going forward.

Get involved, if you aren’t already, and try to dissuade those in power from doing more damage to our environment, economy and our future.     

In the meantime, find out how your Rep. voted, Call them to thank them, or admonish them.

This has been State Representative Beth O’Connor with the Weekly Republican Radio Address.       

Thank you for listening.


Rep. Beth O’Connor is serving her fourth, non-consecutive term representing Berwick and part of North Berwick. ign({},t));if(e

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