When it comes to car emissions, where California goes other states soon follow. Last month California’s Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that gas-powered cars will not be sold after 2035. You can still drive or sell your gas-powered car, you just won’t be able to buy a new one. The ban attempts to reduce all emissions by 50%. Now, a second state has announced it will ban gas-powered cars.
That state is New Jersey. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection announced its own ban by 2035. While it is similar to California’s plan it goes further by dropping emissions in New Jersey 80% by 2050. The report is titled 80×50 Report.
“The 80×50 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 Phil 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.”
New Jersey is one of 14 other states that follow guidelines set by California
New Jersey is one of 14 other states that generally follow guidelines and restrictions set by California. States can choose to follow California’s emissions requirements or they can follow the more lenient US Government EPA laws. However, the Trump administration has been trying to stop California from having the authority to set its own emissions standards. It wants all states to follow EPA regulations only.
The head of the EPA Andrew Wheeler has taken jabs at California’s 2035 ban. Among other things he claims that the electricity grid won’t have the capacity to handle extra loads like charging that amount of electric cars. There are estimated to be over 15 million cars in the state alone.
Wheeler also hinted that the California ban would still need an EPA waiver. Trump’s administration has also taken California to court over its mandate to only purchase vehicles from manufacturers who recognize California’s right to set its own emissions standards. The following automakers have already agreed to abide by California’s right to purchase. They include Ford, Volkswagen, BMW, and Honda.
All previous administrations have allowed California to set its stricter standards
The companies that side with the Trump administration are GM, Toyota, Mazda, and Fiat Chrysler. Over 11% of all cars sold in the US go to California. The objections coming from the Trump administration, like California’s ability to pack enough electricity on its grid, seem like they can be satisfied within 15 years. Also, all previous administrations have allowed California to set its stricter standards due to its unique geography that traps carbon emissions.
So it would seem that if Trump loses the 2020 election the lawsuit will immediately be dropped and California can proceed as it has for decades. Neither California nor the administration is likely to back down so it will be dropped once Trump is out of office or it will proceed to the courts if not.