- First things first: This is only a bill, and even if passed, it would not actually ban the sale of electric vehicles in Wyoming.
- Instead, this is a political messaging law spreading love for the oil and gas industry and stating that electric vehicles just don’t work in the state.
- We agree that different regions of the country are positioned in different ways in relation to EV adoption, but we see through the legislator’s intention with this bill as they added a line saying that if the bill is passed a copy will be sent to the Governor of California. Why could that be?
Republican lawmakers in Wyoming have decided it’s time to take the state’s electric vehicle sales debate squarely into the political arena. Four state senators and two state representatives have introduced a bill (SJ0004) expressing support for “phasing out sales of new electric vehicles in Wyoming by 2035.”
It’s a simple little calculation, one that presents wildly unbalanced views on the benefits and costs of EVs and ultimately would not actually ban EV sales. At least not yet. If approved, the bill would only do two things. First, it would force lawmakers to target the goal of “phasing out sales of new electric vehicles in the state of Wyoming by 2035.” The bill would also “[encourage]Wyoming industries and citizens to limit the sale and purchase of new electric vehicles in Wyoming.” So no real laws, just encouragement.
“The Legislature would say, ‘If you don’t like our gas cars, we don’t like your electric cars,'” the resolution’s sponsor, Republican Senator Jim Anderson, told local media Cowboy State Daily. The publication reported late last year that Wyoming will receive $24 million from the federal government to install EV charging stations in the state.
If this all sounds like a minor political stunt and not exactly a legitimate attempt to improve the lives of ordinary citizens, then you have something on the track. The “during” section of the proposed bill is full of flowery love for the oil and gas industry, saying that extracting these resources “has long been one of Wyoming’s proud and cherished industries.” It also talks about how “the Wyoming oil and gas industry has created countless jobs and contributed revenue to the State of Wyoming throughout the state’s history.” But the state’s official assessment of the law says it would have absolutely “no fiscal or personnel implications”.
CC: State of California
If that’s not clear enough for you, there is a third recommendation that would take effect when the bill goes into effect. Under this section, the Wyoming Secretary of State would be required to send copies of the resolution to President Biden and senior federal officials, other Wyoming officials in Washington, DC, and, get it, the Governor of California.
That last line is important and, if you weren’t paying attention, odd. Why should the governor of California care what Wyoming is doing with electric vehicle sales? He wouldn’t do it, but the bill’s Republican supporters apparently want to score political points by including California. Last year, California announced it would ban the sale of gas-powered cars in the state by 2035, a factual rule that is already influencing laws in other states and the auto industry’s long-term planning. That letter of encouragement from Wyoming? Not as much.
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