Wyoming GOP lawmakers revealed that the “completely ludicrous” measure they introduced to end electric vehicle sales in the state by 2035 was never meant to actually take effect.
Six Republican senators introduced a joint resolution to last Friday to limit the sale of new EVs in the Cowboy State to “ensure the stability of Wyoming’s oil and gas industry,” with a goal of phasing them out completely in twelve years.
“The oil and gas industry in Wyoming has created countless jobs and has contributed revenues to the state of Wyoming throughout the state’s history,” the bill reads.
The legislation lauds gas-powered vehicles for enabling Wyoming’s businesses and industries to efficiently “engage in commerce” throughout the country, while listing out several reasons why electric vehicles are “impractical” for use.
“Wyoming’s vast stretches of highway, coupled with a lack of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, make the widespread use of electric vehicles impracticable for the state,” one section details.
The bill also cites the the critical minerals within in the car’s batteries as a reason for the ban.
Lawmakers note that the domestic supply of the minerals is “limited and at risk for disruption,” while they’re also not “easily recyclable” and would require the state to develop practices for “safe and responsible” disposal.
They also pointed out the extensive network of charging stations that would be required to support more EVs on the road, and the “massive amounts” of power needed to “sustain the misadventure” of going totally electric.
“Fossil fuels, including oil and petroleum products, will continue to be vital for transporting goods and people across Wyoming and the United States for years to come,” the legislation states.
“The proliferation of electric vehicles at the expense of gas-powered vehicles will have deleterious impacts on Wyoming’s communities and will be detrimental to Wyoming’s economy and the ability for the country to efficiently engage in commerce.”
Wyoming lawmakers made sure that copies of the bill made it into the hands of California Governor Gavin Newsom, who plans to end the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
However, according to Wyoming Sen. Ed Cooper, who co-sponsored the bill, the point of the legislation was never intended to actually ban the sale of electric vehicles, but to trigger a nationwide dialogue about barring gas-fueled vehicles in California and other states.
“I think the thought of an electric vehicle ban is truly completely ludicrous, but it’s no more ludicrous than a ban on gasoline powered vehicles,” he remarked.
“Will other states step forward, I don’t know,” Cooper said. “We did our part, we made our statement and that’s pretty much where we’re at.”
State Sen. Jim Anderson added that he and five other GOP senators created the bill to demonstrate that they were “not happy” with the California and 14 other states that have moved towards eliminating gas-powered vehicle sales.
Under California’s new zero-emission rules, allowed by the Clean Air Act, state motorists will only be allowed to purchase vehicles that emit greenhouse gasses until 2035.
Afterwards, automakers will not be permitted to sell vehicles that operate on anything but electricity or hydrogen.
“I don’t have a problem with electric vehicles at all,” he told the Washington Post on Monday.
“Anyone who wants to buy an electric vehicle should have the freedom to.”
“I have a problem with somebody saying, ‘Don’t buy any more petroleum vehicles,’” Anderson remarked.
Co-sponsor Sen. Brian Boner said that the bill was “symbolic,” as he doesn’t believe there is a “coherent plan” in place to power an entire country’s worth of electric vehicles without crashing the power grid.
“This symbolic resolution is meant to provoke a larger discussion about the effectiveness of unrealistic policies which have significant consequences for our quality of life,” he wrote.
“I hope we can have a good discussion about the technical challenges associated with changing vehicles from using an internal combustion engine to powering our vehicles using the same grid that powers our homes and businesses,” Boner continued.
“I don’t see a coherent plan to make that transition in a way the preserves the reliability of the Western energy grid.”
The Wyoming senators’ plan to provoke a national conversation has already proven beyond effective. Not only has the bill made international headlines, social media is hotly debating the issue.
“Will they be reverting back to horse transportation after that?” One person questioned.
“Congratulations, #Wyoming , you’ve just become the latest state that proves the @GOP is an unserious party,” a liberal Twitter user posted.
“These state legislators just created a non-binding resolution to ban the sales of #EVs in order to support the oil and gas industry.”
“Wyoming wanted attention and to get EV fans all up in arms about something unrealistic, and it worked,” an “EV enthusiast” complained. “We’ve gotta stop feeding the impotent attention seekers.”
While others were quick to point out that purely electric-powered vehicles aren’t without flaws.
“Hats off to Wyoming. Common sense reigns,” someone tweeted. “EV is fine hypothetically but unsustainable in the real world.”
“Just rented a Tesla took half hour to charge 100 mile distance. In the new 15 mile radius it would work. We are being led like sheep. Stop the EV madness give us freedom.”
“I just came back from 3 weeks in Wyoming, and it was so cold that people with EV were unable to charge and/or operate them,” another added.
“EV’s are over-hyped and a realistic and viable long term solution yet.”