Quite a bombshell announcement out of California yesterday. State Governor Gavin Newsom declared that the state will ban the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles in California beginning in 2035.
The purpose of the executive order is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are partly responsible for the climate change that is greatly affecting the largest American state.
In a global context, the measure is not without precedent – similar rules have already been adopted in some fifteen countries around the world. For North America, however, this is major news.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change. 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 Governor Gavin Newsom
California is the largest U.S. auto market, accounting for about 11 percent of all vehicle sales in the country. Even more importantly, decisions made there are often followed by other states. Even here in Canada, Quebec for one has often drawn inspiration from California's decisions when it came time to develop environmental policies.
Governor Newsom also wants California to stop issuing new permits authorizing the use of hydraulic fracturing technology for oil and gas drilling by 2024.
U.S. President Donald Trump has tried to prevent California from requiring the sale of electric vehicles, while rival presidential candidate Joe Biden has promised to spend billions to accelerate the introduction and adoption of electric vehicles.
Gavin Newsom said the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will develop regulations to require that 100 percent of new passenger car and truck sales in the state be emissions-free by 2035; the goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent. CARB also plans to require all medium and heavy-duty vehicle operations to be zero-emission where feasible by 2045.
The Governor's order will not prevent Californians from owning or selling/buying gasoline-powered cars on the used car market. This is an important point for all lovers and owners of vintage vehicles. The beauties of yesteryear are part of the automotive heritage and must be preserved. This acquired right is, in our opinion, fundamental.
In response to a record season of forest fires in the state, Gavin Newsom said earlier this month that California must "fast track" efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. “Across the entire spectrum, our goals are inadequate to the reality we are experiencing,” he said on September 11 during a visit to a burned area of the state.
California and nearly two dozen other U.S. states have sued the Trump administration, seeking to prevent the government from defeating California's authority to set strict auto pollution rules and reduce emissions standards nationwide.
The Trump administration has fought a multi-pronged battle to thwart California's efforts to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.
This executive order made in California will have repercussions nationwide in the U.S. presidential campaign. Stay tuned.