California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order directing the state to ban the sale of all internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2035 in a move which is expected to “drastically” reduce demand for fossil fuels in California.
Governor Newsom issued the executive order on Wednesday which will require all new passenger cars and trucks sold in California to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035.
The order will now be handed over to the California Air Resources Board which will now develop regulations to mandate that 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035.
The new ban – announced a day after Tesla’s Battery Day held in the same state – is expected to achieve a more than 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80% improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars state-wide.
Additionally, California’s Air Resources Board will also begin to develop regulations mandating that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100% zero-emission by 2045 “where feasible” and by 2035 for drayage trucks.
The order also requires state agencies, in partnership with the private sector, to accelerate the deployment of affordable fuelling and charging options so as to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place for a surge in zero-emission vehicles.
“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. Cars shouldn’t melt glaciers or raise sea levels threatening our cherished beaches and coastlines.”
With the transportation sector responsible for more than half of all of California’s carbon pollution, 80% of smog-forming pollution, and 95% of toxic diesel emissions – and communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley experiencing some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in the country – the new executive order is another strong step forward for California’s efforts to tackle climate change.
The timing of Newsom’s new executive order can also not be ignored, as California suffers through some of its worst wildfires in history.
Unsurprisingly, given California’s recent fraught history with its Republican President, Donald Trump, Newsom’s executive order was not welcomed in Washington.
“This is yet another example of how extreme the left has become,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said. “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. President Trump won’t stand for it.”
Governor Newsom was well aware this sort of response would come his way, explaining in a Twitter video that “”I expect a tweet within 24 hours of me signing the executive order. I expect the usual pablum, somehow we’re taking something from people or we’re denying people choice, when in fact we’re accelerating innovation.”
Newsom’s executive order also included a move to end new fracking permits by 2024. However, according to Greenpeace, the order fails to put forward specific actions to actually rein in oil production and “offers only vague statements when it comes to public health protections from oil and gas drilling.”
“Newsom’s announcement includes a significant commitment on zero-emissions vehicles; however, it comes up short on the issue of fossil fuel extraction and does nothing to halt the significant increase in new oil and gas permitting that’s occurred under his administration in the last six months,” said Greenpeace USA Senior Climate Campaigner Caroline Henderson.
“When it comes to protecting communities from oil and gas drilling, Newsom’s executive order is all words and no teeth.”