• Rueben Vargas

California Gov. Newsom Signs Order Banning New Sale of Gas-Powered Cars by 2035

The 101 at night

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order banning the sale of new gas powered cars by 2035 on Wednesday, Sept. 23rd. This order was signed as a direct response to the ongoing climate crisis.

Said Gov. Newsom on the order: “This is the most impactful step our state can take to fight climate change…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.”

Being the most populous state in the nation, California has significant influence on the auto industry. Last year, President Trump blocked the state’s auto emission rules in an effort to encourage further business among auto manufacturers.. Tweeted Trump, “Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business.” California is also consistently ranked among the most polluted states in America. In 2018, the American Lung Association released its annual 10 most polluted states in America, with 8 out of 10 being located here in California. The effort to transition from gas powered vehicles to electric ones to combat both climate change and air pollution was previously addressed by former Governor Jerry Brown. In 2018, Gov. Brown signed a bill mandating that all energy sources in the state be zero emission by 2045. That legislation was in direct response to the Trump Administration’s ongoing rollbacks of pollution standards.

The governor’s plans to phase out gas powered cars is no doubt a boon for electric automakers and among them includes Tesla. Tesla enjoys quite possibly the fiercest consumer loyalty among automakers and has led the way in expanding the electric vehicle market here in California. This is all in spite of the beleaguered antics of their CEO, Elon Musk. While Tesla might enjoy a robust market here in California, Musk has repeatedly threatened to move operations out of the state in protest of local regulations. Musk is also infamous for his volatile personality and public outbursts. In July, Musk got into a social media tiff over claims that his company was complicit in the ongoing political unrest in Bolivia. Bolivia has the largest concentration of lithium in the world, and the ousting of their President Evo Morales has cast suspicion on Musk and his company Tesla as their cars run on lithium batteries. When accused of influencing the coup on social media, Musk responded “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” It should also be noted that Musk’s family fortune came from running an emerald mine in Zambia.