First it was California, and now...
California is certainly no stranger to progressive and often controversial laws. In 1967 it established the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the purpose of mandating new emissions guidelines that have been stricter than federal mandates. And so it wasn't a surprise when California Governor Gavin Newsom, while standing next to a new Ford Mustang Mach-E, signed an executive order to ban sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035.
A second US state is now doing the same.
New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection has just announced its own plan to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles in 15 years' time. At present, it's just a bold proposal that still needs to be signed into law, and it actually goes beyond that 2035 deadline.
The ultimate goal of Governor Phil Murphy's administration is to reduce the Garden State's emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The released report is, very appropriately, called the 80x50 Report.
"The 80x50 Report is a call-to-action for all of us in government and in New Jersey to roll up our sleeves and craft the next generation of climate-focused laws and policies," said Governor Murphy. "Our Administration has taken the climate crisis head-on since day one. But the challenge before us demands more. As we have learned from the crisis brought about by Covid-19, we cannot spare a moment in taking the necessary steps that will prepare us for this next crisis. Together, we will meet this moment."
Now that New Jersey has joined California, there are still another 13 states, including Colorado, New York, and Maine, which have followed CARB's rules for the past several years. The 80x50 Report includes additional recommendations, such as the development of solar, wind, and other zero-carbon energy-generating resources, deploying new technology and policy initiatives to cut back on emissions in general and to protect forests and marshlands across the state.
Not surprisingly, the federal government was not happy with California's decision. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler criticized the state's plan by pointing out, among other things, its electric grid won't be able to handle the EV influx. Fifteen years is plenty of time to resolve that and other related issues.