While Canada moves to get gas-powered vehicles off the road, lawmakers in Wyoming have gone in the opposite direction and are calling for a ban on electric vehicles.
The bill, introduced into the state legislature on Jan. 13 by Senator Jim Anderson and other Republicans, supports phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035.
“Oil and gas production has long been one of Wyoming’s proud and valued industries,” says the bill, adding that the industry has created “countless” jobs in the region and contributed to the state’s coffers throughout its history.
The legislation also lists downsides to EVs, such the lack of charging stations in the state and the “massive amounts” of new power generation that would be needed to sustain “the misadventure of electric vehicles.”
The supply of critical minerals needed for EVs is limited and not easily recyclable, so landfills will have to develop new practices to dispose of them, the bill says.
The resolution winds up by stating that phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles will ensure the stability of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry and help preserve the country’s critical minerals for “vital purposes.”
It also calls for copies of the resolution to be sent to President Joe Biden, the president of the Senate, the Speaker and the governor of California.
If this all sounds a bit tongue in cheek, it’s because it is — sort of.
Anderson told the Washington Post the main motivation for the bill was California’s move in August to go ahead with a ban on new gas vehicles by 2035.
“I have a problem with somebody saying, ‘Don’t buy any more petroleum vehicles,'” Anderson told the newspaper, adding that he introduced the bill “just to get the message out that we’re not happy with the states that are outlawing our vehicles.”
In August California announced it would require 35 per cent of all new vehicle sales to be powered by batteries or hydrogen by 2026, 68 per cent by 2030 and all by 2035.
The state, which CNBC calls “the center of U.S. car culture,” carries a lot of heft and is likely to affect the auto industry nation-wide. CNBC reported that already at least 15 states, including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, have adopted California’s vehicle standards on their own rules.
The Wyoming resolution’s co-sponsor Sen. Brian Boner told the Cowboy State Daily that the bill if passed would be entirely symbolic.
“I’m interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life,” Boner said. “I just don’t appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn’t ready.”
In Canada, new government rules dictate that 20 per cent of all new cars sold are zero-emission by 2026; at least 60 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.