No, you did not read that wrong. Wyoming is doing the complete opposite of California.
President Joe Biden must be extremely annoyed with Wyoming after its senators tabled a proposed bill to phase out new electric vehicle sales by 2035. The joint resolution was sponsored by Senators Jim Anderson, Brian Boner, Ed Cooper, and Dan Dockstader, as well as Representatives Donald Burkhart and Bill Henderson. President Biden has been pushing for 50% EV sales since he started his term, and now an entire state has come out to disagree in public.
These senators and representatives will undoubtedly be hailed as heroes by Americans who are vehemently against electrification, and not without reason, it has to be said.
The bill mentions several reasons Wyoming wants to phase out EV sales at a time when California, New York, and Oregon want to do the opposite and ban pure combustion vehicles by 2035. It's also a bit of a publicity stunt, as fewer than 500 EVs are registered in Wyoming.
Still, the senators and representatives provide several good reasons why the state wants to phase out EV sales.
According to the bill, oil and gas production has long been one of Wyoming's varied industries. These industries create jobs, which obviously then contribute to the state's revenue. "Since its invention, the gas-powered vehicle has enabled the state's industries and businesses to engage in commerce and transport goods and resources more efficiently throughout the country," the bill states.
The senators also state that the rapid increase of electric vehicle sales at the expense of gas-powered vehicles will have a negative impact on thousands of families, which, in turn, will have a detrimental effect on Wyoming.
"Phasing out the sale of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035 will ensure the stability of Wyoming's oil and gas industry and will help preserve the country's critical minerals for vital purposes," the bill states.
From there on, the bill attacks EVs directly. Wyoming has large open stretches of highway and little charging infrastructure. The state is also concerned about EV batteries further down the road. According to the bill, these batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, so the state would have to develop the means to do so, likely at a significant cost.
The state is also concerned about whether it can provide electricity to all the vehicle charging stations it would need to go full electric. The state argues that massive amounts of power generation will be required to support these vehicles.
Wyoming will now deliver copies of this bill to the President, each member of Wyoming's congressional delegation, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the governor of Wyoming, and the governor of California.
In the meantime, the legislature is asking industries and private citizens to limit the sale of new EVs as it works toward phasing them out by 2035. Looking at current registrations, Wyoming could likely phase out EV sales within two weeks.
The best-selling new vehicle in Wyoming is the Ford F150. It's also the best-selling used model.
There are two decent arguments to be made here. Wyoming's representatives are simply acting in the best interest of its constituents, who would be impacted by an ICE ban. As a counterargument, several states, most notably Georgia, are at the receiving end of huge billion-dollar investments due to the Inflation Reduction Act.
Still, the latter is a shambles, and the federal government is still struggling with definitions and how to best distribute tax credits. Meanwhile, Japan has stated that the IRA is illegal because it violates international trade agreements.
If nothing else, the news from Wyoming will get serious attention and likely spark a heated debate.