California is banning the sale of gasoline powered vehicles
Governor Gavin Newson has signed an executive order to ban all gasoline powered cars starting 2035.
A drastic move by the government of California, state governor and Democrat Gavin Newson has imposed a ban on the sale of gas powered vehicles in an attempt to reduce harmful carbon emissions, beginning in 15 years time.
With devastating wildfires and heatwaves sweeping through the state and smog blanketing skies over major cities, Newsom has decided to take take California's climate emergency more seriously than any governor has ever before. Signing an executive order as an extreme measure to end ICEVs and accelerate development into zero-emissions cars, he stated "our cars shouldn't make wildfires worse... create more days filled with smoky air. Cars shouldn't melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines."
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"For too many decades, we have allowed cars to pollute the air that our children and families breathe. You deserve to have a car that doesn't give your kids asthma... Cars shouldn't melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines."
California is the largest new car market in the country, accounting for 11% of all vehicle sales - and with transport sitting up top as the largest and ever-increasing source of pollution in the state, this drastic action taken by Newsom stands as the most confrontational order against the internal combustion car that has ever been imposed by a state governor in the United States.
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Under this new order, sales of brand new petrol, diesel and gas powered passenger cars and trucks will be banned from sale in the state of California, however this does not prevent the sale and transfer of vehicles on the used car market.
Californian petrol-heads, fear not, as you'll still be allowed to own your prized vehicles.
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In 2019, electric vehicles accounted for less than eight-percent of cars sold in California (a total 86,593 units), undercutting Governor Jerry Brown's ambitious expectation for 1.5 million electric vehicles on state roads by 2025. However, with Tesla's Model 3 sales dominating statewide car sales - accounting for a tremendous 59.7% of all electric vehicles sold and topping Honda and Toyota for best selling car in California, the graph for electric vehicle sales is well on its way to the exponential curve's tipping point.
Under the order, the eventual phasing-out of gasoline powered vehicles in California must reach completion within the 15 year deadline to result in a one hundred-percent market share for electric vehicles.
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Drastic decisions are almost always met with arguments and backlash, and this one is no different. Some organizations have stood up in support of Newsom's stance, for example the Coalition for Clean Air stating "the Governor's executive order is a meaningful step in addressing the climate crisis and protecting the health of Californians."
Former Governor Jerry Brown supported the decision, saying it was “an absolutely necessary goal for California and the world.” California US Senator Diane Feinstein also stood by the ruling, stating that "this is a tremendous goal that will have a lasting effect across the auto industry, even beyond California’s borders and the nearly 2 million personal vehicles sold in the state annually. Cars and trucks account for nearly one-fifth of all emissions in this country. Reducing those emissions is absolutely necessary.”
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Opposition to the executive order has also been widespread; a spokesperson for the Institute of Energy Research criticizing Newsom's order as being "another silly distraction from real problems."
Republican senators have also been quick to speak up against the decision, Senator Andreas Borgeas expressing his disapproval "the Governor’s announcement to eliminate gas-powered vehicles by 2035 does not address California’s most pressing needs," telling the governor to "focus on forest management, CEQA reform and getting our economy back on track.”
Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove saw the order as a threat to the American oil, gas and petroleum industries, saying "instead of producing it [oil, gas and petroleum] under the strictest environmental regulations in the world, our state will be doing more business with foreign regimes that have abysmal environmental and human rights standards.”
Economist David Kreutzer also jumped on the criticism, stating that "driving cars is not what causes forest fires or makes them worse... If people want to drive electric cars, they'll buy them. You don't have to eliminate the competition." Additionally, Kreutzer added that electric vehicles are far from environmentally friendly, as "electric cars might not have emissions at a tailpipe, but they do have emissions at the power plant."