Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning sales of new gas-powered cars and trucks in California by 2035. Critics say the “rushed decision” is a “radical step” that may be untenable.
During Climate Week 2020, Gov. Newsom announced that California, which is the largest new car market in the country, will eliminate sales of gas-fueled passenger vehicles by 2035 and require medium- and heavy-duty trucks to transition to zero-emissions by 2045.
“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” Newsom stated. “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.”
California legislators were blindsided by the executive order, which was timed to come ahead of California Climate Action Day, a virtual event hosted by Newsom on Thursday. Critics called the “radical step” to ban internal combustion engines a “rushed decision” that “makes no sense.”
Republican Senator Shannon Grove accused the Governor of “once again chasing headlines instead of focusing on the immediate and real problems” of the state. She poked holes in the feasibility of Newsom’s plan, pointing out that there are only 700,000 zero-efficiency vehicles on the road today, in a state with 40 million residents.
“Not enough has been done to prepare to ‘meet this moment,’” Grove tweeted. “There is no real charging infrastructure in place statewide.
The decree puts pressure on the state agencies responsible for transportation, air resources, energy, and finance, to work with the private sector to develop a strategy for the Zero-Emissions Vehicle Market by the end of January 2021.
Senator Melissa Melende (R) questioned the cost to the public. “How does this costly change lift people out of poverty, in a state that is number one in poverty in the nation?” The chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, claims that “electric vehicles will be more affordable in 15 years.”
Newsom is already bracing for blowback from President Trump. “I expect a tweet within 24 hours of me signing the executive order,” he told followers on Twitter.
The president allowed White House spokesman Judd Deere to do the talking. “This is yet another example of how extreme the left has become. “They want the government to dictate every aspect of every Americans’ life, and the lengths to which they will go to destroy jobs and raise costs on the consumer is alarming,” he stated. “President Trump won’t stand for it.”
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