It’s not like Washington state’s ban, but it’s definitely trying to keep up…
The California Air Resources Board has made a proposal to achieve Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order to eliminate the sale of internal combustion engines in the state by 2035. It’s a bold strategy, one we’re not sure will work out so great, but considering what short attention spans most people seem to have, they might even forget all about it by then.
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CARB’s proposal calls for 35% of new cars sold in the state to be battery-electric or hydrogen-fueled by 2026. Of course, by 2035 all new vehicles would need to be “net-zero emissions.” If only Elon Musk knew ramping up EV technology was as simple as having state governors declare it would happen, he would’ve been buddying up to Newsom at French Laundry two years ago!
Of course, electric vehicles are still a niche market in California. They accounted for 12.4% of all new car sales in the state last year, a bump from 7.8% in 2020. While proponents of this plan would champion that as government driving the market, there are still serious questions about the viability of this plan.
For starters, California has been plagued with rolling blackouts, which doesn’t exactly communicate that the electrical grid in the state is robust. What’s more, the government has been intent on shutting down nuclear power plants, with only Diablo Canyon still left operational, scheduled for shutdown in 2024. Critics say it’s likely the state won’t be able to generate enough electricity using its growing “green” methods. While people can agree to disagree on what will happen, the true test will be how California proceeds as the years grind on.
Perhaps part of the plan to keep the electrical grid going with all those EVs plugged into it is to rely on the population of California to continue its decline. Some media outlets have proudly declared the shrinking numbers of those who call California home is due to deaths from covid and old age as well as people not having as many people in the Golden State, not because there’s any exodus which has made it next to impossible to rent a U-Haul there. If it’s banking on just more and more Californians dying and not having kids, it’s kind of a genius plan. Of course, it doesn’t account for the lost tax revenue from all those people leaving – not moving, mind you, but dying or not being born – so how will the state continue to fund all these fantastical rebates and other programs? Eh, that’s not important or something like that.
On California’s plan for greater energy independence, Newsom said, “Pull away from the gas pumps. Let us no longer be victims of geopolitical dictators that manipulate global supply chains and global markets.” Someone needs to catch him up on where some of the minerals used to make lithium-ion batteries are mined. They might as well get into the process and environmental effects while they’re at it.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee recently signed into law a bill which will ban the registration of almost all internal-combustion vehicles by 2030. Several other states are pushing for measures like California’s or Washington’s. You can read about the Washington state law here.
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