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.
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.