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No, this is not clickbait, nor is it a misprint. With so many states getting on the bandwagon to ban new gasoline-powered cars by 2030, one state wants to go in the opposite direction. The Wyoming legislature has put forth Senate Joint Resolution 4 to phase out all new electric vehicle sales by 2035. 

Why does Wyoming want to ban electric vehicles?

Wyoming ban
Antelope in front of an oil derrick in Pinedale, Wyoming | Gary Friedman/Los Angeles Times via Getty

Calling EVs a “misadventure,” it says the “proud and valued” oil and gas industry has created “countless” jobs as well as revenue to Wyoming. It argues that with the state’s sparse charging infrastructure, EVs would be “impracticable.” And it adds that “massive amounts of new power generation” would be needed to “sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles.”

Keep in mind that the state has almost a $1 billion surplus in its General Fund, which along with DOT programs would help it to get ahead of the inevitable EV takeover. But also keep in mind that Wyoming is the top producer of oil, gas, and coal. So maybe it should invest the money because those industries are dying. 

How does this resolution affect electric vehicles in the state?

Wyoming ban
Welcome to Wyoming Sign | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty

How this would work is that both residents and businesses voluntarily cut back or eliminate EV purchases. The hope is that this will eliminate EVs by 2035. So in reality, this is just a time-waster to get some attention. 

As proof, in the last parts of SJ4 calls for the Secretary of State to send President Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom a copy of the resolution. “One might even say tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion,” bill co-sponsor Senator Brian Boner told the Cowboy State Daily

Did one senator say “so-called climate change?”

Wyoming ban
Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming | Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty

“I’m interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life. I just don’t appreciate when other states try to force technology that isn’t ready.” None of that makes sense, but that’s what Mr. Boner said.

Something that needs to be addressed is the big distinction between urban and rural states. With charging stations clustered around large urban towns and cities, the rural regions don’t have the same advantage. Lower populations mean longer distances between public chargers. So the switch to electric vehicles is precipitous. 

Wyoming ban
Greetings from Wyoming 1940s | Found Image Holdings/Corbis via Getty

You Have to Give up Your Gas Car Sooner or Later

And those longer distances between neighboring rural towns and cities mean range anxiety is heightened. Gas stations sit around enough rural highways and small towns to minimize the chance of running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Compound that with the slowing demand for fossil fuels. Besides range anxiety, the economics of coal and crude oil dictate revenue from those industries causing funding anxiety. 

And Wyoming isn’t blind to environmental concerns. In Carbon Country, wind farms remain one of the largest energy producers of its kind in the country. And let’s face it, other than its symbolic message, the resolution has no teeth, nor much meaning.