California Announces Forthcoming Ban on New Gas-Powered Vehicle Sales

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has just zapped the auto industry with a policy that spells the end of sales of new gasoline-powered vehicles within the state.

Newsom on Wednesday issued an executive order directing the state “to require that, by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles,” according to a news release from his office.

“Pull away from the gas pumps,” Newsom said, according to Fox News. “Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.”

In his news release, Newsom characterized the dilemma facing California as a conflict between cars and everything else in the state.

“The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80 percent of smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of toxic diesel emissions — all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country,” the statement said.

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“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom added. “For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. Californians shouldn’t have to worry if our cars are giving our kids asthma.

“Our cars shouldn’t make wildfires worse — and create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

The order received criticism from California Business Roundtable president Rob Lapsley, who told Politico that the “radical step” Newsom was taking “makes no sense.”

John Bozella — who leads the Association of Global Automakers, a trade group that represents automakers — indicated to The Washington Post that companies are moving to add electric vehicles as the market demands them.

Do you think that this executive order is an example of radical environmentalism?

“But neither mandates nor bans build successful markets,” he said in a statement. “Much more needs to be done to increase consumer demand for Zero Emission Vehicles in order for California to reach its goals. It will require increased infrastructure, incentives, fleet requirements, building codes, and much more.”

Many on Twitter suggested Newsom’s order belongs in either park or reverse:

Newsom’s order requires the California Air Resources Board to “develop regulations to mandate that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035,” according to the news release.

Along the way, the board will develop rules to mandate “that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100 percent zero emission by 2045.”

Hinting at possible state subsidies to come, the release said that “to ensure needed infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles, the order requires state agencies, in partnership with the private sector, to accelerate deployment of affordable fueling and charging options. It also requires support of new and used zero-emission vehicle markets to provide broad accessibility to zero-emission vehicles for all Californians.”

The order applies only to new vehicle sales. Californians will be permitted to buy gasoline-powered cars outside the state and own them, and also to sell used gas-powered cars inside the state or outside it.

Among the reasons for the new policy that Newsom cited in his order was that the “COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the entire transportation sector, bringing a sharp decline in demand for fuels and adversely impacting public transportation.”

California currently accounts for 11 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S., according to Reuters.

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