California Phases Out Gas Cars to Fight Climate Change


SACRAMENTO, California, September 24, 2020 (ENS) – All new passenger vehicles sold in California must be zero-emission by 2035, under a new executive order issued by California Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday. Newsom also ordered additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector.

The governor says his order will move the state away from reliance on fossil fuels that cause climate change while retaining and creating jobs and spurring economic growth.

The executive order will not prevent Californians from owning gasoline-powered cars or selling them on the used car market.

An electric Tesla Model 3 on a California road, September 29, 2018 (Photo by Thomas Hawk)

The transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon emissions, 80 percent of the state’s smog-forming pollution and 95 percent of its toxic diesel emissions.

Meanwhile, residents of the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley endure some of the dirtiest air in the country.

“This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change,” said Governor Newsom. “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,” said Newsom. “Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”

Following the order, the California Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035. The target would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide.

The Air Resources Board also will develop regulations to mandate that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100 percent zero-emission by 2045 where feasible, with the mandate going into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks.

To ensure needed infrastructure to support zero-emission vehicles, Governor Newsom’s executive order requires state agencies, in partnership with the private sector, to accelerate deployment of affordable fueling and charging options.

It also requires the support of new and used zero-emission vehicle markets to provide broad access to zero-emission vehicles for all Californians.

California Joins International Effort

California will be joining 15 countries that have already committed to phasing out gasoline-powered cars and are using their market power to push zero-emission vehicle innovation and drive down costs.

By the time the new rule goes into effect, zero-emission vehicles are likely to be cheaper and better than today’s petrol-powered cars. The upfront cost of electric vehicles is projected to reach equality with conventional vehicles at some time in the near future, and whenever they do, EV owners will enjoy cheaper battery power and low maintenance electric vehicles.

California is one of the country’s oil-producing states, and environmentalists have been urging Governor Newsome to protect Californians from “Big Oil.”

As California Governor Gavin Newsom prepared to deliver his 2nd State of the State address, a crowd gathered outside the capital building with a message, “Newsom: Stand Up To Big Oil!” February 19, 2020 Sacramento, California (Photo by Peg Hunter)

The executive order sets clear deliverables for new health and safety regulations that protect workers and communities from the impacts of oil extraction. It supports companies that transition their upstream and downstream oil production operations to cleaner alternatives.

The order also directs the state to make sure taxpayers are not stuck with the bill to safely close and remediate former oil fields.

To protect the health and safety of California communities and workers, the governor is also asking the Legislature to end the issuance of new hydraulic fracturing permits by 2024.

The order directs state agencies to develop strategies for an integrated, statewide rail and transit network, and incorporate safe and accessible infrastructure into projects to support bicycle and pedestrian options.

This action continues Governor Newsom’s commitment to strengthening California’s resilience in the face of climate change while lowering carbon emissions.

In the last six months, the California Air Resources Board has approved new regulations requiring truck manufacturers to transition to electric zero-emission trucks beginning in 2024.

In addition, the governor signed an agreement with 14 other states to advance and accelerate the market for electric medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

Last fall, California led a multi-state coalition in filing a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to revoke portions of a 2013 waiver that allows the state to implement its Advanced Clean Car Standards.

In August, even while California is engaging in litigation to restore its authority to set clean car standards more stringent than the federal standards, the state has finalized with six participating automakers individual bilateral agreements based upon the Clean Car Framework unveiled last year.

Automakers who voluntarily agreed to the framework agreements are BMW of North America (including Rolls Royce for purposes of the agreement), Ford, Honda, Volkswagen Group of America (including VW and Audi), and Volvo.

The framework agreements are voluntary commitments that support continued annual reductions of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions through the 2026 model year, encourage innovation to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, provide industry the certainty needed to make investments and create jobs, and save consumers money.

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2020. All rights reserved.


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