Greenwashing comes in all kinds of flavors. Corporations spend a few pennies on recycled paper, then spend dollars advertising their newly found eco-largess. Politicians tout their environmental record while spending years supporting dirty industry.

In Maine, Republicans trying to cut automobile excise taxes have been pulling out buckets of astroturf greenwash and trying to frame their goals as a green initiative due to the inclusion of hybrid cars in the tax cuts. The proposed act would cut all automobile excise taxes by at least 50 percent and all hybrid cars would be 100-percent exempt for the first three years.

It sounds great until you consider that it's likely that the hybrid tax breaks were included just so the act could be positioned as green. If the ballot initiatives' framers were truly concerned about pushing the adoption of hybrid cars, they would have narrowed the focus on only hybrids. This is an act pushed by tax-hating right-wingers looking to sly one past the people of Maine.

Here in Maine, excise tax revenue is kept by the town that collects it. It's available to the town general budget, but is usually spent on road maintenance, repair and construction. If the excise tax were slashed, local towns would find even deeper deficits in their budgets and could make further cuts in road work.

Portland Daily Sun writer Anna T. Collins has been digging up through this story, click over, it's a wonkish good read.

Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Maine tax act a big greenwash
A tax relief ballot initiative in Maine would cut excise taxes for all cars while tossing something extra to hybrids. In short, a big ol' greenwash.