On Thursday, California is expected to finalize a ban on the sale of new gas-powered passenger vehicles by 2035, the New York Times reported. The move is expected to push more states to enact similar measures.
Currently, only 12% of the cars sold in California are electric vehicles. The new regulation will demand that all cars with the model year 2035 or later are free of fossil fuel emissions.
The NYT reported that additional states might soon adopt the plan, considering 12 already follow California’s auto emissions rules. If this prediction is realized, one-third of America’s automotive market will follow California’s regulations.
President of the Alliance for Automotive Innovation John Bozzella told the news outlet, “Whether or not these requirements are realistic or achievable is directly linked to external factors like inflation, charging and fuel infrastructure, supply chains, labor, critical mineral availability and pricing, and the ongoing semiconductor shortage.” Bozzella referred to the ambitious goal as “extremely challenging.”
In August, California Governor Gavin Newsom stated, “Cleaning the air we breathe. Protecting our communities from the harmful impacts of the oil industry. Accelerating California’s clean energy future. Each of these actions on their own are monumental steps to tackling the climate crisis – but California isn’t waiting a minute longer to get them done. We’re taking all of these major actions now in the most aggressive push on climate this state has ever seen because later is too late.”
Newsom, along with New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, praised the Biden administration for passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which is set to allocate $369 billion to “tackle the climate crisis and secure America’s energy future.”
The largest fraction of the Inflation Reduction Act funds, $27.5 billion, will be provided to states to enact “zero-emission technologies and reduce climate pollution in disadvantaged communities.” In addition, approximately $5 million of the federal funds will be distributed to states “to adopt and implement clean vehicle standards.”
California’s bold regulation goals are expected to become a driving influence around the United States and abroad to adopt radical change.
“California will continue blazing a trail for America and the rest of the world on the swift and meaningful actions necessary for cutting carbon pollution, protecting communities and leading the clean energy future,” Newsom said.
President Trump revoked the Clean Air Act in 2019, an action which stopped California from setting emission standards beyond the federal government’s. He expressed concern that “political agendas in a single state” would be forced on the rest of the nation.
When President Biden took office, the administration restored the Clean Air Act, once again granting California the power to set stricter fuel economy laws.
In May, 17 states filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, claiming that the organization had illegally reinstituted California’s waiver to set regulations on emissions. The NYT reported that oral arguments for the case have not yet been scheduled.