New­som or­ders 2035 phase­out of gas-pow­ered ve­hi­cles

Marysville Appeal-Democrat - - State / Nation - Los Angeles Times (TNS)

SACRAMENTO – Em­pha­siz­ing that Cal­i­for­nia must stay at the fore­front of the fight against cli­mate change, Gov. Gavin New­som on Wed­nes­day is­sued an ex­ec­u­tive or­der to re­quire all new car sales to be zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles by 2035 and threw his sup­port be­hind a ban on the con­tro­ver­sial use of hy­draulic frac­tur­ing by oil com­pa­nies.

Un­der New­som’s or­der, the Cal­i­for­nia Air Re­sources Board would im­ple­ment the phase­out of new gaspow­ered cars and light trucks and also re­quire medium and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emis­sion by 2045 where pos­si­ble. Cal­i­for­nia would be the first state in the na­tion to man­date 100% ze­roe­mis­sion ve­hi­cles, though 15 coun­tries al­ready have com­mit­ted to phas­ing out gas-pow­ered cars.

New­som did not take ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion to ban the con­tro­ver­sial oil ex­trac­tion method known as frack­ing but called on the state Leg­is­la­ture to do so, set­ting up what could be a con­tentious po­lit­i­cal fight when law­mak­ers re­con­vene in Sacramento next year.

Taken to­gether, the two cli­mate change ef­forts would ac­cel­er­ate the state’s al­ready ag­gres­sive ef­forts to cur­tail car­bon emis­sions and petroleum haz­ards and prom­ise to ex­ac­er­bate ten­sions with a Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion in­tent on bridling Cal­i­for­nia’s lib­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda.

“In the next 15 years we will elim­i­nate in the state of Cal­i­for­nia the sales of in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gines,” New­som said at a news con­fer­ence in Sacramento be­fore sign­ing the or­der. “If you want to re­duce asthma, if you want to mit­i­gate the rise of sea level, if you want to mit­i­gate the loss of ice sheets around the globe, then this is a pol­icy for other states to fol­low.”

New­som’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der calls end­ing the sale of new gaso­line-pow­ered cars by 2035 a “goal,” but it also or­ders the Air Re­sources Board to im­me­di­ately be­gin draft­ing reg­u­la­tions to achieve it by that year.

The gov­er­nor ac­knowl­edged that not ev­ery­one would em­brace the 100% zero-emis­sions man­date but em­pha­sized that noth­ing in his or­der would pre­vent Cal­i­for­ni­ans from own­ing gas-pow­ered cars or buy­ing or sell­ing them used.

“We’re not tak­ing any­thing away,” New­som said. “We’re pro­vid­ing an abun­dance of new choices and new tech­nol­ogy, be­ing ag­nos­tic about how we get to zero emis­sions, but be­ing com­mit­ted to get­ting to zero emis­sions by 2035.”

New­som said that Cal­i­for­nia’s ac­tion will help spur greater in­no­va­tion for zero-emis­sion ve­hi­cles and, by cre­at­ing a huge mar­ket, will drive down the cost of those cars and trucks. More than 1.63 mil­lion new cars and trucks are ex­pected to be sold in the state in 2020, ac­cord­ing to the Cal­i­for­nia New Car Deal­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

He noted that Cal­i­for­nia is home to 34 man­u­fac­tur­ers of elec­tric ve­hi­cles and that just un­der 50% of all the elec­tric ve­hi­cle pur­chases in the coun­try are in this state. Phas­ing out gas-pow­ered cars will not re­duce the haz­ards posed by car­bon emis­sions but serve as a cat­a­lyst to bring more green eco­nomic jobs to Cal­i­for­nia, he said.

Cli­mate sci­en­tists and ad­vo­cates say the world must stop pro­duc­tion of gasand diesel-pow­ered ve­hi­cles by 2030 in or­der to keep global warm­ing to tol­er­a­ble lev­els. Cal­i­for­nia and other govern­ments across the world are seeking to achieve car­bon neu­tral­ity by 2045, and it will take years for ve­hi­cles to turn over and be re­placed by zero-emis­sion mod­els.

Beau Boeck­mann, pres­i­dent of Galpin Mo­tors deal­er­ships in Los Angeles, said the 2035 man­date “sounds a lit­tle scary to some at first blush,” but that ev­ery­thing evolves in this chang­ing world, and ev­ery­one needs to pre­pare for it. The auto in­dus­try even­tu­ally will ben­e­fit by do­ing to right thing, he said.

“Pol­lu­tion is a ter­ri­ble thing. I grew up in the San Fer­nando Val­ley in the 1970s, and you couldn’t see across the val­ley with that brown haze,” Boeck­mann said. “L.A. was known for smog like London was known for fog.”

Al­liance for Au­to­mo­tive In­no­va­tion Pres­i­dent and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive John Bozzel­las said the elec­tric car mar­ket is crit­i­cal to auto man­u­fac­tur­ers, but “nei­ther man­dates nor bans build suc­cess­ful mar­kets.”

State Se­nate Repub­li­can leader Shannon Grove of Bak­ers­field, which is in the heart of Cal­i­for­nia oil coun­try, crit­i­cized New­som’s or­der as “ex­trem­ist,” say­ing the gov­er­nor’s time would be bet­ter used pro­tect­ing Cal­i­for­ni­ans from wild­fires rather than ban­ning cars that most state res­i­dents rely on to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies.

Los Angeles Times/tns

Thou­sands of new cars are stored at Toy­ota lo­gis­tics ser­vice yard at the port in Long Beach on May 3.

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