A group of Republican Wyoming lawmakers want to phase out the sale of electric vehicles in the Cowboy State by 2035, saying the move will help safeguard oil and gas industries.
The bill, introduced into the state legislature on Friday, claims electric vehicles will hinder Wyoming’s ability to trade with other states.
"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," the bill, sponsored by Senator Jim Anderson and co-sponsored by five other GOP legislators, reads.
Among the reasons cited in the legislation
Batteries used in electric vehicles could contain critical minerals whose "domestic supply is limited and at risk for disruption."
Minerals used in electric batteries are not easily recyclable or disposable, meaning that municipal landfills in the state could be required to develop practices to dispose of these minerals in a safe and responsible manner.
The bill also notes the oil industry has employed thousands of people in the state: “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.”
Bill would phase out electric vehicle sales in Wyoming
The bill's language was clear but Anderson told the Washington Post on Monday that he does not actually want electric vehicle sales phased out.
“I don’t have a problem with electric vehicles at all,” Anderson told the Washington Post.
"Anyone who wants to buy an electric vehicle should have the freedom to," he said, adding that his friends and family members have them.
His office could not immediately be reached by comment by USA TODAY.
More states requiring electric or hydrogen powered vehicles by 2035
Meanwhile in more than a dozen other states with vehicle emission standards tied to rules established in California, leaders are facing weighty decisions on whether to follow the Golden State's strictest-in-the nation new rules that require all new cars, pickups and SUVs to be electric or hydrogen powered by 2035.
Under the Clean Air Act, states must abide by the federal government's standard vehicle emissions standards unless they at least partially opt to follow California's stricter requirements.
Washington, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon and Vermont are expected to adopt California’s ban on new gasoline-fueled vehicles.
Colorado and Pennsylvania are among the states where lawmakers have signalled they will likely not follow California's lead.
The legal ground is a bit murkier in Minnesota, where the state’s “Clean Cars” rule has been a political minefield and the subject of a legal fight.
Republicans in Virginia have rejected rules adopted when Democrats controlled the state that would have moved Virginia on a path toward adopting California's model.
Contributing: Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Wyoming ban on electric cars by 2035 pushed by lawmakers
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