Wyoming's Bold Move to Ditch Electric Cars by 2035: Will it Pay Off?

Wyoming’s Bold Move to Ditch Electric Cars by 2035: Will it Pay Off?

While some jurisdictions in the United States, such as California and New York, are moving towards banning the sale of new gasoline-powered cars, one state is considering going in the opposite direction. Wyoming’s legislature is currently reviewing a resolution that calls for a phase-out of new electric vehicle (EV) sales by 2035. The resolution, known as Senate Joint Resolution 4, was introduced on Friday and has support from members of the state’s House of Representatives and Senate.

The proposed resolution, led by Senator Jim Anderson, states that Wyoming’s “proud and valued” oil and gas industry has created “countless” jobs and contributed revenue to the state’s economy. The resolution also argues that a lack of charging infrastructure within the state would make the widespread use of EVs “impracticable” and that the state would need to build “massive amounts of new power generation” to “sustain the misadventure of electric vehicles.”

SJ4 calls for residents and businesses to limit the sale and purchase of EVs voluntarily, with the goal of phasing them out entirely by 2035. However, if passed, the resolution would only be symbolic and would not actually ban EVs in the state. The resolution’s final section calls for Wyoming’s Secretary of State to send copies of the resolution to President Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Senator Boner, stated that the resolution is “obviously a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion.” He went on to say that he is “interested in making sure that the solutions that some folks want to the so-called climate crisis are actually practical in real life.” He also expressed his dissatisfaction with other states trying to force technology that is not yet ready.

While the resolution may be perceived as a political stunt, it alludes to genuine economic anxiety in Wyoming. The state produced 85.43 million barrels of oil in 2021, making it the country’s eighth-largest crude oil producer that year. Wyoming’s Carbon County is also home to one of the largest wind farms in the US. The resolution highlights the need for a fair and equitable transition to a zero-emissions economy. Many rural residents in the US are understandably skeptical of so-called green technologies because they haven’t benefited from recent technological shifts as much as their urban counterparts. The lack of access to broadband internet in rural communities, for example, has contributed to diminishing economic opportunities in those areas.

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